By Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti
The Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon Adewale Omirin, has declared that the closure of some petrol filling stations on the orders of Governor Ayodele Fayose in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday was deliberately orchestrated to persecute him for his loyalty to his party.
This allegation came barely 48 hours after Fayose approved the appointment of Mr. Samuel Adeyemi, as the Chairman, Ekiti State Petroleum Products Consumer Protection Agency (PPCPA).
The Ministry of Lands had on Tuesday sealed off some petrol stations built between residential buildings and within the vicinity of public educational institutions in the state capital, predicating the action on the hazards inherent in them.
The ministry ordered the affected businessmen, including the Speaker to come with evidence that empowered them to locate the filling stations in such a perceived dangerous place, where it could wreak havoc on lives and property of the citizens.
Omirin, who fumed at the government’s action in statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Wole Olujobi, on Wednesday, said he fulfilled all the necessary environmental laws in the location of the filling station and got necessary approval, wondering why the governor is starting early in the day those victimise those perceived as his political enemies.
Omirin declared that being an elected public official, that no amount of intimidation and coercion will sway him to betray the people that voted him into office, pledging never to waver under undue political pressure to abandon his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for selfish and pecuniary motives.
The embattled Speaker is rumoured to be under impeachment threat in the hands of the PDP.
But Fayose, who discountenanced the allegation through his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, said: “What Omirin was saying is a total false. No iota of truth in it. The essence of closing down petrol stations is to ensure sanity and safety in the state capital.
“While some petrol stations were sited near public institutions or residential areas, everybody knows the danger it can cause if there is fire outbreak which had happened in some towns where lives were lost and property destroyed. Even in Lagos State, you cannot just site petrol station anyhow.
“Omirin should have nothing to fear, because the governor has nothing against him. He should behave like good politician and refrain from conniving with his party to do something unholy. “His party lost the election and another governor sworn in, so we expect him to cooperate with the government than creating a stumbling blocks. If Omirin has nothing has in skeleton in his cupboard, he should have nothing to fear.” Explaining further, Omirin said: “Hon. Joseph Dele Olugbemi had 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 the PDP on the day 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 good people of the state.
“I called the governor to confirm what the honourable member told me about the plan to close my filling station. The governor denied any of such plan, swearing that he would not pursue any victimisation agenda against the opponents. But only yesterday the governor ordered the closure of the filling station, citing environmental factor.”
Omirin said he had a background of political fidelity anchored on progressive democratic practice and so would not abandon principle in pursuit of selfish agenda diametrically opposed to the ethos of his political belief.
He 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.
The Speaker stressed that attacks on the opponents, particularly the lawmakers, will only create conditions inimical to a cordial relationship between the executive and legislature necessary for smooth running of government.
In another development, Fayose will on Thursday swear in Justice Emmanuel Bamidele Omotoso whose promotion as a judge had since been approved by the Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC).
Omotoso, was supposed to be sworn in as a judge by ex-Governor Kayode Fayemi , but was stalled over an undisclosed allegation.