Constitutional crisis looms in Ekiti

Posted by News Express | 24 November 2014 | 3,353 times

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Crisis now looms in Ekiti as the 19 All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers threaten to return to the State Assembly with Speaker Adewale Omirin, who was allegedly impeached by 10 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers and was replaced by Hon. Dele Olugbemi on Thursday.

The mood suggests that the two factions in the House of Assembly will today battle for the control of the legislative chamber.

Residents Saturday expressed fear, even as the police hinted of intelligence report regarding plans to storm Ekiti with hoodlums from neighbouring states.

The PDP-led government, Road Transport workers, market women and student unions also expressed similar fears, but warned of dire consequences.

The war of attrition between seven PDP legislators and their APC counterparts got out of hand on Thursday when the PDP lawmakers with “three strange men” announced the impeachment of the Speaker, and disclosed that Olugbemi had been elected in his stead.

But Omirin, who described the action of the factional legislators as “unconstitutional”, disclosed that he could only be impeached by the two-third of the members as stipulated by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

However, the APC lawmakers, who have been on self-exile since last week, vowed to return to the House today. They insist that Omirin remains the Speaker.

Omirin, in a telephone interview with The Guardian Saturday, confirmed that he would lead his colleagues back to the Assembly but refused to confirm if they would go today.

“We shall go back to the Assembly, but I will not confirm to you when; may be, we shall be their tomorrow or any other day,” he said.

Omirin continued: “I will resist the illegal action of the PDP members being sponsored by the State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose; and I am ready to die.”

Omirin, who accused Governor Fayose and the PDP of plan to bring in thugs to demonstrate and cause mayhem in the Assembly Complex, said the Governor should be held responsible for any untoward incident that may happen on today.

He accused the Governor of precipitating the crisis in order to close down the Assembly.

But the State Governor had denied any involvement in the Assembly matter, but declared support for the Olugbemi-led Assembly.

The State Government had, at the weekend, accused the APC lawmakers of plans to sponsor thugs from Lagos and Osun states to unleash terror on the PDP lawmakers.

But Omirin, in his reaction, said it was the State Government that has perfected plan to cause crisis so as to implicate him. Omirin’s Special Adviser on Media, Wole Olujobi, said in a statement that such accusation by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, smacked of dishonesty and an attempt to implicate the innocent lawmakers for ‎an evil plan of the government itself so as to set the people of Ekiti State against APC lawmakers.

Omirin, who said he was responding to enlighten the Ekiti people on how the PDP-led government operates, explained that close observers of PDP’s politics agree that when its leaders want to cause trouble and implicate opponents, they would accuse them of the exact thing they intend to do.

His words: “We know exactly what the government is planning. It wants to instigate a crisis that will lead to the closure of the House of Assembly. The plan is to import thugs into the state like the government did last Monday to demonstrate against the Speaker.

“The thugs will be herded into the House of Assembly Complex in the garb of pro-Omirin lobby to drum support for the Speaker. They will unleash mayhem to create an atmosphere of insecurity to enable the police react with maximum force resulting in violence on a massive scale. APC members will now be implicated and arrested, followed by the closure of the Assembly that will now make the governor become a maximum ruler. That is his obsession.”

•Adapted from The Guardian. Photo shows Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State.

Source: News Express

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