Ayodele Fayose, the Ekiti State Governor, has dared the Federal Government to carry out the alleged plot of preventing him from travelling out of the country.
Fayose said: “Under the federal system of government, state governors are not appendages of the President and as a leading opposition figure in Nigeria, he cannot be cowed by President Muhammadu Buhari and his agents.”
The governor, who was reacting to reports that two governors, one from the South-West and another from the South-South have been placed on travel restriction on President Buhari’s order, yesterday in a press conference addressed by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Mr. Lere Olayinka, said whenever he wished to travel out of Nigeria, he will do so in the full glare of the public.
He said: “I am not surprised or disappointed by this latest plot of the Buhari’s government because the President Buhari that we know is a man without any atom of respect for the rights of Nigerians as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and this he demonstrated as a military dictator and now demonstrating as a democratically-elected President.”
The governor said he was however amazed that “this dangerous dimension of compelling a sitting governor that enjoys constitutional immunity like the President to obtain clearance from the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS) before travelling out of Nigeria can ever be contemplated.”
In another development, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has warned Governor Fayose to stop maligning former Governor Kayode Fayemi over his inability to pay workers’ salaries.
It said blaming the former governor for purportedly plunging the state to debts is a wicked manipulation of the ignorance of the people to justify “an unconscionable and mindless treatment of Ekiti workers while Fayose enjoys lavish life.”
Fayose had during his last weekend’s media chat blamed Fayemi for taking loans that would last till 2036 for full repayment. He said deductions from Federal Allocation for debt payments had left the state with a peanut not enough to pay salaries.
But reacting in a statement in Ado-Ekiti, the party’s Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, accused the governor of insincerity and employing ignorance of the people to deceive Ekiti workers over the financial status of the state.
He said the governor had at different times given several figures as loans taken by Fayemi to deceive the people in order to hide his plans for the misapplication and misappropriation of Ekiti money, noting that such was his conduct in 2003 before he was impeached in 2006 over alleged sundry financial crimes.
Describing as provocative Fayose’s habit of asking workers to bear with him in empty stomach while regularly taking his monthly N250 million security vote without funding the security agencies, Olatunbosun challenged the governor to publish the state audited accounts stating the state’s internally-generated revenue profile like Fayemi did periodically and stop blackmailing the former governor over “fraud-motivated instincts to exploit the ignorance of the people to a fraudulent advantage.”
The governor’s aide who was flanked by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, at the press conference further said: “I therefore wish to state on behalf of Governor Ayodele Fayose that as an opposition figure, he cannot be cowed by this pettiness from the Presidency. Governor Fayose, by this press conference, is daring President Buhari and his anti-democratic agents to carry out this evil and shameful plot and let us all see how far it will take them.
“Anytime Governor Fayose wishes to travel out of Nigeria, he will do so in the full glare of the public and we await how he will be prevented from exercising his rights.”