Scores of supporters of Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose yesterday blocked all access roads leading to the state House of Assembly complex in a bid to prevent any impeachment proceedings.
They arrived at the vicinity as early as 8a.m. and staged a protest around the complex.
Their action was consequent upon a rumour that the 19 All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers, who form the majority in the assembly, would storm the complex to sit and impeach Fayose from office.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) loyalists stormed the assembly area singing pro-Fayose songs and lashing at the APC lawmakers for harbouring plans to remove the governor, who they claimed “is innocent of the impeachable offences”.
Backed by some government and party officials, they used a government-owned Ashok Leyland luxury bus to block the access road – Saliu Adeoti Road – to prevent the opposition lawmakers from gaining access to the complex.
Deputy Governor Kolapo Olusola; former House of Assembly Speaker, Olatunji Odeyemi and Special Assistant on Information, Youth and Sports, Lanre Ogunsuyi, were on hand to support the protesters.
About nine Toyota Hilux vans belonging to the police and Department of State Services (DSS), conveying heavily armed operatives, were parked at the two main entrances leading to the assembly complex.
The PDP members later turned the blockade into a roadshow, singing and dancing to music at the gate of the House of Assembly Service Commission.
They were prevented from coming near the new assembly complex by the battle-ready and stern-looking security men, drafted there to maintain law and order.
Many of the protesters, who were weary of singing and dancing and could no longer withstand the heat of the sun, sat under canopies placed in front of the old assembly complex.
Addressing reporters on the purpose of the blockade, Ogunsuyi said Ekiti people were ready to take their destiny in their hands by fighting for the mandate they gave to Fayose on June 21 last year.
The governor’s aide insisted that all the actions of the APC lawmakers reeked of illegality and impunity, saying Dr. Adewale Omirin was no longer the Speaker and lacked the power to preside over the assembly.
Ogunsuyi added that Omirin was already in court challenging his impeachment, saying he could not be laying claim to the position.
He added that the APC lawmakers were desecrating the rule of law and the constitution.
He said: “The new Nigeria, which President Goodluck Jonathan and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari campaigned for is the one that would respect the Rule of Law.
“With this convergence, you can see that the people are standing by their governor. They are ready to defend their mandate.
“Nobody asked Omirin and other APC lawmakers not to come to the Assembly. They only decided to abdicate their duties since last year November 17.
“Impeachment procedure does not start and end with the Assembly alone. The judiciary is involved. So, this plan is highly condemnable.
“We want to emphasise that they are welcome as long as they are concerned about making laws for the progress of the state. But if it was meant to come and impeach Governor Fayose, we won’t allow that”.
Ogunsuyi, however, said the governor as the leader would continue to wave the olive branch to the opposition lawmakers for Ekiti to remain in peace and harmony.
He said: “We want some measures of decorum in Ekiti. We are not proud of the era when we had three governors within a week. We want a stable government and we will continue to pursue this for Ekiti to be at peace.”
Odeyemi advised the APC lawmakers to put the interest of the state above personal or partisan interests, warning that breakdown of law and order was an ill-wind that won’t blow any good.
He said: “The entire issue calls for concerns. As a former legislator, I am quite aware of the rudiment of impeachment process. But far from this, the issue of the news any impeachment will bring to Ekiti’s credibility is uppermost in my mind.”[The Nation]