CHIBUZO UKAIBE, writes on the intrigues surrounding the alarm raised by Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose over alleged moves to remove him from office.
He takes pride in his posture as a one-man opposition to the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.
While his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chokes over its self inflicted leadership crisis, the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, has since assumed somewhat, the face of the opposition.
All through last year, he didn’t relent in his criticism of the APC-led administration, attacking their every move. While he won accolades over his boldness and bravery from PDP faithful, he basked in the ire and fierce retorts from APC chieftains.
He however evoked mixed reactions from the non partisan fold, causing a cringe at some of his outlandish attacks and at other times a silent nod of approval for striking the right chord.
At the end of last year, an acknowledgment by revered General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, on Fayose, had snowballed into a exchange of diatribe between PDP and APC.
However, at the turn of this year, Fayose resumed his attacks against the governing party, poking at their policies, ranging from the anti-corruption fight, N5000 policy, the Chibok girls rescue and so on.
But barely days after he made an appearance on a national television criticizing the government, he last week raised an alarm over moves to get him out of office.
Causing ripples in the political waters, he alleged that the APC plans to remove him from office with the connivance of the judiciary.
Addressing journalists in Lagos, Fayose said he had already petitioned the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, on the plot.
He claimed that the target was to silence him as the voice of opposition in the country, because he had bluntly rejected all overtures for him to defect to the ruling APC or stop talking.
He alleged that at a recent meeting held in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, with several stalwarts and chieftains of the APC in attendance, two former governors of the state and members of the APC, namely Segun Oni and Dr. Kayode Fayemi, now Minister of Mines and Solid Mineral Development, boasted that there was no going back on the latest plan to remove him from office at all cost before the expiration of his (Fayose’s) tenure in October 2018.
The governor, who warned against any plot to destabilise his state, wondered how long the Ekiti APC and its collaborators would pursue their clandestine agenda of reversing an election they lost over 30 months ago and was validated by the tribunal, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
In a letter he addressed to Justice Onnoghen, Fayose alleged: “Certain APC chieftains were again making subterranean moves to manipulate and compromise a section of the judiciary, particularly some judges, to get through the back door what they failed severally to achieve through the ballot box as well as in open court, even in matters already decided by the Supreme Court.
“The essence of all of this is to silence him as the voice of opposition in the country because he has bluntly rejected all overtures to him to defect into the ruling APC or stop talking.”
The governor added: “At a recent meeting held in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, at which several stalwarts and chieftains of the APC were in attendance, two former governors of the state and members of the APC, namely Segun Oni, a former governor of the state, and Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the Minister of Mines and Solid Mineral Development, boasted that there is no going back on the latest plan to subvert the will of the people of Ekiti freely given.
“Wrest the governance of Ekiti from me at all cost before the expiration of my tenure in October 2018 through an orchestrated but dubious legal process; and thereby render nugatory the sacred mandate of the people given unto me openly and unequivocally when I won in all the 16 local governments of the state while the then incumbent governor, Fayemi recorded zero.”
He continued “This time, the plotters of this judicial coup d’etat plan to procure the services of a compromised or malleable judge to get self-serving ‘jankara’ and kangaroo judgments with the intention of having the Supreme Court reverse itself on the June 2014 Ekiti election.
Fayose nonetheless, expressed confidence that Justice Onnoghen in particular and the judiciary in general would not only refuse to fall for the APC’s cheap and pedestrian blackmail, but would also resolutely and confidently defend the hallowed grounds of the judiciary and secure it from desecration by anti-democratic forces running riot all over the country.”
But Fayemi has since refuted the allegations by his successor, alluding that they are illogical and unreasonable.
The minister’s Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, said, “It is simply a case of the wicked running when no one pursues.
“It would appear, Governor Fayose wakes up daily in search of new controversies and making one spurious allegation after another. And it does not really matter to him whether such allegations are reasonable, logical or sensible.
“This allegation is not only irresponsible, it is quite unfair to the two former governors of the state.
“And one is not surprised at this, because under Fayose, falsehood has been elevated to the level of statecraft, sustained by the machinery of state.
“My advice to him is: Let the governor go and honour the promises he made to the Ekiti electorate (if he ever made any). Let him pay workers’ their salaries, take governance more seriously and make the state safe for lives, property and investments. If he can do these, then he needs not fear anyone.
“However, this is certainly a poorly contrived alibi for his ineptitude and apparent low capacity for the serious business of governance. It is purely a cheap blackmail that will not fly.”
Expectedly, the PDP in Ekiti State, would not hear any of such denial. In a rather aggressive tone, the party declared that the alleged subterranean moves to remove the governor will lead to the total collapse of the APC administration in the country.
The PDP State Chairman, Barr. Gboyega Oguntuase, Speaking in Ado Ekiti, described the letter written by the governor to the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Walter Onnoghen, over the alleged moves to co-opt a section of the judiciary to the devilish plot, as as reasonable and justifiable.
He added that the alleged plot to remove the governor would create crisis of monumental proportion that would be difficult for the Nigeria Army to curtail.
But the APC in Ekiti State dismissed the allegation, and accused him of crying wolf where none exists.
APC Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, while describing the allegation as unfounded and baseless, said there was no meeting where Fayemi and Oni met to boast that he would be removed. He added that the governor was only jittery and afraid of the consequences of his many infractions on the law.
Insisting that there was no meeting between Fayemi and Oni to plot Fayose’s removal, Olatunbosun said: “Fayemi and Oni are too decent and busy in their assignments to engage in such frivolous boasts that Fayose is accusing them of.”
The back and forth over the allegation, is clearly situated in the intrigues of 2018 governorship election in the state.
Pundits believe that such engagements are only just beginning. Since Fayose has projected himself as a political colossus in the state, the APC would be poised to not just defeat him but bring him to his knees politically.