Governor Ayodele Fayose has a new crisis on his hands, two weeks after failing to get his deputy, Professor Olusola Eleka, elected as the next governor of the state.
No fewer than 13 of his supporters in the state House of Assembly are on the verge of dumping him and defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC) whose candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi won the July 14 governorship election.
The 13 legislators, The Nation gathered on Friday, will team up with the current three APC members in the legislature and then launch a move to impeach the governor whose term will expire on October 16.
The three current APC legislators were originally with Fayose until they fell out with him following irreconcilable differences.
They are the Minority Leader, Hon. Gboyega Aribisogan (Ikole Constituency 1), Hon. Adeniran Alagbada (Ise/Orun Constituency) and Hon. Sunday Akinniyi (Ikere Constituency 2).
Many in Fayose’s camp are already jittery over last Wednesday’s deployment of policemen on the assembly premises, and were quick to accuse the APC of engineering the plot to impeach Fayose.
The governor himself has been working day and night to frustrate the plot from materializing.
The alleged impeachment move prompted last week’s adjournment by the assembly to October 8, barely a week to the inauguration of a new administration.
The long adjournment is believed to have been at the instance of Fayose in a desperate bid to stop the impeachment.
He was removed from power 12 years ago along with his then deputy, Mrs. Biodun Olujimi (now a Senator), by the Second Assembly (2003-2007) over alleged graft, abuse of office and operation of foreign account.
However, the impeachment was later quashed and declared unconstitutional by the court.
A member of the Assembly told The Nation on condition of anonymity that the planned impeachment is alive and “it is in the interest of the people of Ekiti State.”
Fayose, according to the source, has committed “many impeachable offences and it would be irresponsible” of the legislators to fail in performing their constitutional responsibility.
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He said: “the question people should ask is: has Fayose not committed impeachable offences? The answer is yes.”
He recalled how the governor “used seven lawmakers to impeach former Speaker Adewale Omirin on November 20, 2014, used the seven to screen and clear commissionership nominees” and how he “declared himself as Speaker and usurped the constitutional duties of the Assembly.”
Continuing, the source said “I also want to remind our people that the governor committed a treasonable offence of trailing President Muhammadu Buhari to faraway China to block him from attracting investors to Nigeria.
“Just two weeks ago, the governor announced an illegal result on the State Broadcasting Corporation when collation of results was still ongoing during the governorship election.
“He announced his deputy as winner of the election and incited the people to violence during the illegal declaration and that prompted the closure of the station by the National Broadcasting Commission. Is that not an impeachable offence?
“These are just examples of his impeachable offences because there are many I can refer to. If people want to talk, they should be objective in their analyses.”
The source declined to say when the move would commence “because consultation is still ongoing.”
Another lawmaker who also asked not to be named said Fayose pushed the House members to the warm embrace of the opposition by allegedly inflicting hardship on them and treating them as “slaves.”
His words: “the whole saga was caused by the governor himself because he took us for granted and treated us as slaves forgetting that we are elected members from our various constituencies.
“We have suffered under the governor. He has denied us of our rights and privileges as Assembly members. We know the prestigious status our counterparts in other parts of the country are enjoying but here, we are suffering.
“The truth is that Fayose refused to empower us and as I am speaking with you, we are being owed arrears of salaries; we have not received our furniture allowances; there are no constituency projects; and he (Fayose) used our salaries to secure loans.
“Can you imagine: we have spent almost four years in office, we have not had the opportunity of attending seminars outside the state when our colleagues in other parts of the country are going on overseas legislative tours.
“Our constituents are looking up to us but we have no patronage to dispense. The governor is victimizing us, harassing us and telling us that he was the one who sponsored our election.
“We have our own lives to live and we have our future to protect. Remember that we will still be in office for about seven months after Fayose would have handed over power.