Written by Doyin Adebusuyi, Ado Ekiti
Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Adewale Omirin yesterday said Governor Ayo Fayose is intimidating him and putting undue pressure on him to dump his All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The speaker in a statement by his Special Assistant, Media, Wole Olujobi, alleged that part of the governor’s strategies is the closure of his petrol station.
The speaker, however, said that no amount of coercion from the governor will force him to betray the people that voted him into office.
The speaker maintained that he would not buckle “under undue political pressure to abandon his party for selfish and pecuniary motives.”
The speaker said he complied with all the necessary environmental laws in the location of his petrol station and that he secured necessary approval.
“I wonder why the governor is starting early in the day by victimizing those who do not share his political belief,” he said.
The government had on Tuesday, in a statement aired on the state radio ordered the closure of petrol stations cited close to residential areas or schools across the state.
The statement also asked owners of the stations to present relevant documents.
But the speaker alleged that the stations which were shut down are owned by people who do not share the governor’s political ideologies.
Six lawmakers on the platform of the APC had on the day of the governor’s inauguration defected to the PDP bringing PDP lawmakers in the 26-member Assembly to seven against APC 19.
The speaker added: “Honourable Joseph Dele Olugbemi told me two days after the governor’s inauguration that he (the governor) had made up his mind to close my filling station over refusal to join PDP. Olugbemi defected to PDP on the day Governor Fayose was inaugurated. I had earlier told the governor that in the interest of Ekiti people, the House of Assembly would work with him to deliver dividends of democracy for the people. I called the governor to confirm what the honourable member told me about the plan to close my filling station and he denied it. He swore that he would not pursue any victimization agenda against the opposition. But only yesterday, the governor ordered the closure of the filling station, citing environmental factor.”
The speaker said the present atmosphere in the state does not call for high-handedness and persecution against perceived opponents, “but a collective pursuit of common goals to deliver good governance to Ekiti people.
When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Idowu Adelusi, said there was no plan to remove the speaker and that closure of filling stations cited in residential areas or close to schools is not targeted at the opposition.
Adelusi said: “The exercise is to ensure sanity in the state. There is danger in citing petrol stations close to schools or residential areas. He has nothing to fear, the governor has no intention of removing him. But he should behave like a politician and not connive with his party to do anything untoward.”