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Ayo Fayose, former Ekiti State Governor

Fayose orders that speaker’s office be shut

•It’s not true, says governor

Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose yesterday ordered the House of Assembly Speaker’s office shut.

Speaker Adewale Omirin’s spokesman Mr. Wole Olujobi said some men, acting on the governor’s directive, came to the office about 4pm, sealed it off and seized the Speaker’s official cars’ keys from the drivers, who were told to go home.

On Monday, seven of the 26-member House sat at the chamber, without the speaker and the deputy speaker.

Protected by policemen and a band of thugs, they “approved” the governor’s three commissioner-nominees and the list of members of caretaker committees for the 16 local government councils.

The rule of the House allows a minimum of nine-member quorum. To make up, “three strange people” joined the seven lawmakers.

But the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, denied the sealing off of the Speaker’s office. He described it as “another falsehood coming from a confused speaker”.

“We all know that the governor could not have ordered the speaker’s office be sealed up  (sic) because the existence of Adewale Omirin is insignificant to us and the people of Ekiti State having lost the honour.

“Besides that, Omirin’s driver is under the Assembly Commission, which could employ, promote, transfer or sack drivers and other staff of the legislature.

“What does the happening in the legislature or operations at the Assembly by the commission got to do with Governor Fayose? Omirin is totally confused and Ekiti people are fed up with their lies. His cries now is (sic) a ranting of an ant, he should be ignored totally.”

The governor had earlier ordered the freezing of the accounts of the Assembly, cutting off electricity supply to the Speaker’s Lodge and stopping statutory votes for the Speaker’s upkeep.

The governor also sacked the Speaker’s and Deputy Speaker’s and Majority Leader’s aides.

Fayose condemned the All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers for “seeking to consolidate the interests of their party rather than the general interest of the people.”

Speaking through the Special Assistant on Information, Mr Lanre Ogunsuyi, Fayose alleged that the APC lawmakers were unpatriotic by trying to ‘arm-twist’ him in passing the list of commissioner-nominees.

“We expect the Assembly to see themselves as representing Ekiti people and they shouldn’t have the House platform to advance party’s interests. We are not justifying the situation, but Fayose cannot be blamed for self-inflicted injuries Dr. Adewale Omirin brought onto himself.”

Fayose urged the Speaker to “stop misdirecting himself over his woes”, noting that it was also impossible for the governor to freeze the Assembly’s accounts as he did not operate them.  “They have their banks. We are not going to freeze anybody’s accounts,” he said.

Fayose urged the Speaker to look “inwards” in resolving the crisis, noting that the troubles with him pre-date the coming of his administration.

“We don’t expect the telationship to be smoth because of party differences and the lawmakers have a right to reject Fayose only if that is on the basis and interest  of Ekiti people but not to do so for the interest of APC.

“The Speaker was not in any way removed as being rumoured. Members of the House of Assembly and even the National Assembly used to

have causes to change their leadership. It is not a new thing in our political history.

“In Edo State, the APC lawmakers hold their sittings in the Government

House while the PDP holds separate sittings. Even in Rivers, Judiciary and the House have been experiencing similar problems.

“They ordinarily ought to pass the Attorney General for Ekiti to sign agreement  on contracts and for the Commissioner of Works to execute them and without the Commissioner for Finance, Ekiti cannot access the N2 billion loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria. Something honourable for any House to have done is to pass this without any controversy.”

Ogunsuyi also insisted that the fact that only 16 members attended the news conference in Ikere-Ekiti was a confirmation that 10 members of the Assembly sat on Monday in the absence of the substantive Speaker to ratify Fayose’s list of commissioner-nominees, special advisers and the allowance to constitute council  caretaker committees. “If you agree that 16 were there at the meeting, look for the names of those who were not there and you would know the identities of the three lawmakers that enabled PDP to form a quorum,” he said.

On the sack of Speaker’s aides, the governor said: “It was the same House during the immediate past administration that passed the Law which empowers the Governor to fire and hire aides for the Speaker and his Deputy and even aides to Local Government Chairmen. So, this Assembly enacted the law I applied as already applied by the last administration.

His words: “I even learnt that he said the electricity supply to his House has been cut . It smacks of insensitivity for a number three man to be crying wolf over this when the same government he served is indebted to the electricity company to the tune of N133 million.”


[The Nation]


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