The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, the state’s chapter of Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) and sundry anti-Fayose groups in the state took to the streets on Thursday; to protest what they claimed was the looting of the state’s commonwealth by Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The protesters, who were guarded by a large number of police officers and men and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), also challenged Governor Fayose to waive his immunity and pick up the gauntlet thrown down by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegations that he looted the state treasury.
The placard-carrying protesters, which comprise party leaders, students, youth groups, artisans and other like-minded individuals, marched from Fajuyi Park through Okeyinmi and stopped at Ijigbo area where they were addressed by leaders of each of the groups.
The protesters also passed a vote of confidence in the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari and his anti-corruption war and said that the EFCC must dig deep into the finances of the state and prosecute whoever was indicted in the looting of the state’s treasury.
Acting Chairman of APC in the state, Mrs Kemi Olaleye, expressed regret over the immunity conferred on Governor Fayose in line with section 308 of the constitution, saying this had been impeding his prosecution for alleged embezzlement of funds.
She said: “We are tired of the immunity clause. Immunity has become impunity in Ekiti. We condemn Governor Fayose’s corrupt tendencies. Things must change. The EFCC must do its job and ensure that looters of Ekiti are brought to justice.”
The CNPP Chairman in the state, Mr Tunji Ogunlola, challenged Fayose to waive his immunity and face prosecution over alleged involvement in N4.7 billion arms deal alongside a former Minister of State for Defence, Mr Musiliu Obanikoro and PDP governorship candidate in Osun State in the last poll, Mr Iyiola Omisore.
“We also plead with the Federal Government not to release bailout for payment of salary to Governor Fayose. The Federal Ministry of Finance should pay into workers’ accounts directly, because we have lost confidence in the government. The previous N9.6 billion bailout should be probed.
“We want to commend the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris and Director General of the DSS, Mr Lawal Daura, for probing alleged political thuggery leveled against PDP government in Ekiti.
Meanwhile, Governor Fayose-led government has said that the APC protesters asking him (Fayose) to waive his immunity were doing so out of ignorance and desperation to win the state in 2018, knowing that their aim could only be achieved if Fayose was out of the way. “But it is a failed agenda ab-initio because we are ever ready for them.
“They should know that this is 2016 and not 2006. Their whole agenda is about 2018 and their game plans are what we are now seeing using the EFCC to concoct lies and using the media to disparage Governor Fayose, but they can’t go far.
“For now, the APC and the acolytes of President Muhammadu Buhari should not be too desperate for Fayose to defend himself against the myriads of false allegations, but rather wait till 2018 for the governor to submit himself to EFCC as he did in 2007.
“Till now, even the political EFCC has not alleged Fayose of stealing Ekiti money and if it is concocting one, we shall meet in the court at the appropriate time.
“It is only in Nigeria under APC – led government that Chief Jide Awe, the chairman of APC in Ekiti State, standing trial for murder, will be the person who coordinated the 102 petitions written against one person.
“Jide Awe and other APC members murdered 12 people during the Fayemi administration and not withstanding a warrant of arrest issued on these suspects by the court, the police have refused to arrest them because of “order from above.”
“It is very shameful that these protesters have not asked their boss, Dr Kayode Fayemi, to account for N852m SUBEB fund he misappropriated.
“As far as we know, no amount of harassment or intimidation or character assassination will make members of Ekiti State House of Assembly to succumb to pressures to go against the governor.”