Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, has vowed that under no circumstance would he join the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Although he said earlier in the week that he was yet to be clear about the platform he would use to fight the 2018 succession battle in the state, Fayose said he remains constant and unshaken with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the platform he used to win the governorship polls twice.
The Governor had on Wednesday in Ikere Ekiti, at a meeting with the members of the Suppliers’ Association of Nigeria, Ikere chapter, said that he may not use PDP platform to present candidate for the 2018 poll.
Fayose’s comment might be informed by the polarization of the party into the Ahmed Makarfi and Ali Modu Sheriff factions, which led to the failure of the party’s candidate, Eyitayo Jegede in the just concluded governorship poll in Ondo State.
But speaking at the palace of Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe while being conferred with the honour of ‘Outstanding Achiever of Our Time’ by Ado Progressive Union, he said he will never dump the PDP for APC under any guise.
“I will never dump PDP for APC. I remain strong and unshaken for the PDP. I can’t jump the boat, even if I want to jump, I won’t jump into the red sea.
“Why should I leave the PDP and join a party of hunger like APC? Ekiti is different from Ondo. By the grace of God, there will be a repeat of history here in 2018, I shall repeat the 16-0 that I gave them in 2014.
“I operate like the biblical Elisha because those with us are greater than theirs. The God of Israel that conquered Philistines shall be on our side.”
The popular Fayose market in Ado Ekiti, the state capital has been closed following the order of the State Governor, Ayodele Fayose for not complying with the rules and regulations of the market.
Channels TV correspondent reports that the market has been under lock and key for the past few weeks and this has not been the best of time for the traders, considering the season and as the yuletide approaches.
The Commissioner for Information, Lanre Ogunsuyi, has explained that “the market was closed due to the attack on the enforcement officers of the state government, (and) for now the market remains closed until the traders learn their lessons”.
The Governor has also explained that the market was closed “for not complying with the laws and order rules guiding the market”.
He said that traders should see themselves as brothers and respect the state government order.
Traders in the market have been warned in the past to stop obstructing access roads and walkways with their goods.
Efforts have been made by the traders to appeal to Governor Fayose for an amicable resolution of the matter but the efforts have not yielded the desired result.
For now, traders remain on the streets hoping that the market would be opened as soon as possible.
Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has lamented the outcome of the Ondo State Governorship election won by Mr Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He believes the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) connived with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its collaborators in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rig the election before it was conducted.
He said; “Just as I would have loved to congratulate the winner, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), because in every contest, there must be a winner and a loser, the role of INEC in awarding victory to him in the election left much to be desired”.
The Governor, who reacted in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said INEC gave the APC victory in the election “by deliberately replacing the name of Mr Eyitayo Jegede, the PDP candidate, thereby creating legal logjam that lasted till three days to the election”.
He said that the PDP went to the election with its hands tied to the back because of the uncharitable actions of INEC, “which has no doubt become an arm of the APC”.
He maintained that apart from the APC, political parties in Nigeria are now contesting elections against INEC.
“The whole process was a deliberate sabotage by INEC, which has totally bastardised the electoral process.
“Obviously, all these shenanigans are geared towards turning Nigeria to a one part state by weakening all opposition parties ahead of the 2019 general elections but I can assure Nigerians that this will not last because the people will always be defeat tyranny,” he said.
No fewer than three persons were wounded on Thursday and two arrested and detained over the conduct of the elections into the State Executive Council of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Ekiti chapter.
The victims, who were delegates drawn from some primary and secondary schools across the state, were said to have been arrested and allegedly beaten by men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps( NSCDC) and Department of State Security (DSS).
Addressing journalists after the chaos, a contestant, Mr Lucas Adu, said that those arrested were in the custody of the DSS while the injured have been taken to Ekiti State University Teaching hospital for treatment.
The aggrieved candidate said that the NUT electoral body was about starting the election when some of his supporters queried the rationale behind the choosing of the delegates.
He accused the outgoing chairman, Mr Samuel Akosile of inviting the DSS and NSCDC who invaded the place and chased them out of the election venue.
Adu said that the security operatives shot sporadically into the air to scare them, and some members were wounded in the ensuing melee.
Adu also accused the outgoing chairman, Samuel Akosile and the NUT Secretary, Mr Olugbenga Ajibade, of shortchanging a faction operating under the banner of Progressive Group of NUT by allegedly doctoring the delegate list to favour another contestant, Segun Odugbesan.
He said that the group, in a petition dated October 25 and signed by one Mr Adeparusi S.T. and addressed to the NUT headquarters in Abuja, had complained about the lopsidedness and nothing was done to correct the perceived infraction.
“We want outright cancellation of this election. They started by doctoring the delegate lists. For instance, in Ado local government, the delegate list ought to be 87, they reduced it to 37, because Akosile knew that his group didn’t win in the local government. But he jacked the delegate lists in councils where his group won.
“We wrote protest letters to the governor, national secretariat over the looming crisis, but when we got to the election centre, we said the manipulations should be addressed. They denied us of our right and we left the place in anger.
However, the State Secretary of the union denied the allegation, saying no delegate list was doctored, as the delegates were carefully chosen in line with the constitution and based on financial strength of the local governments.
Ajibade also said that nobody was beaten by security agencies, clarifying that security men were only there to maintain law and order.
“Before the election, the issue was taken to the state executive council and all the representatives from the 16 local governments were present.
“At the meeting, the numbers allotted to each council was read and nobody raised objection. So, it was wrong for them to come and raise the issue on election day,” he argued.
The Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Ekiti, Most Rev Christopher Omotunde, has called on the Ekiti State government to return schools established by the Church to it for effective management and to boost the standard of education in the state.
He made the call in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday at a press conference heralding the week-long activities marking the 50th anniversary of the diocese.
Describing the taking over of the schools by government as ‘robbery’, the Bishop pointed out that the fall in the standard of education being witnessed in the country could have been averted if the schools were still under the management of the churches.
The Bishop said: “Government acted like armed robbers by taking over schools they didn’t know the vision behind its establishment.
“Governments are bad managers and you can see the damage they have done to schools established by missionaries across Nigeria.
“Former Governor Kayode Fayemi wrote to us on the need to take over some schools and we replied back and indicated our intention to take over some schools, but the process never reached the advanced stage till the expiration of his tenure.
“We have taken another bold step and we believe it will yield result under the present government.”
Omotunde lamented also how the facilities at the Ile Abiye hospital established by the church in Ado Ekiti to enhance quality healthcare delivery at affordable rate were allegedly looted and taken to Ekiti State Specialists Hospital (now Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital), saying this further confirmed how destructive the government could be.
The Bishop also warned the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) against unnecessary conviviality with politicians, saying the association is an organization set up to propagate the ideals of unity and spiritual growth of Christians and it should not deviate from this vision.
The Bishop said that the Anglican Church will use the anniversary to immortalize the late Primate of the Anglican Communion and indigene of Odo Owa Ekiti, Most Rev Abiodun Adetiloye and other Bishops that had superintended over the diocese for their contributions and sacrifices.
Reeling out the achievements of the church, Omotunde said that the diocese has made tremendous impacts in the spiritual lives of Ekiti people since its creation in 1966 by establishing many churches and a school of science and technology as well as youth skills development centre to build human capacity.
The cleric said the church is presently venturing into estate developing business being part of the efforts to boost the economy of the state and make the church self-sustaining.
“We have been performing our social responsibility very well. We are not only teaching our members, but we enhance their capacities in skills acquisition.
“We recently built a church in the prison yard in Ado Ekiti and today, the spiritual lives of many of the inmates had improved for better.
“This is part of our welfare and social responsibility to the people and we won’t deviate from this,” he said.
The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has defended his decision to sign a law prohibiting open grazing of cattle in the state.
The Governor, who was speaking on Channels TV programme, Hard Copy, has further inaugurated a task force to enforce the law, insisting that he has a duty to do whatever he can to protect the lives of his people,
He stated that the entire Ekiti people are behind the bill as citizens came out in thousands to show their support for the government on the day the bill was passed.
Governor Fayose described as shameful the practice of herdsmen rearing cows in cities, including the nation’s capital, Abuja.
He recalled that while growing up, herdsmen were known to carry ordinary sticks with which they directed their cattle, therefore “anything that will involve you being armed, you should check it as soon as possible”
“When people take advantage of harmless people, people that gave you space to do your business; you feed on their farmlands, their crops and you harass them daily because you have weapons.
“Where are they finding these AK47? Who is behind it?
“Let me tell you very expressly, Nigeria is a federation. Everybody as responsible leaders must take steps to curtail excesses of anybody that wants to take the lives of your people. I was elected Governor to protect lives and property.
“If you are hiding under cattle rearing to take lives of my people, to sleep with their daughters, to take their wives by force because they know you can come in the night and harass them, that will not work.”
He said that the new anti-grazing law would require everyone who wants to practice the business in Ekiti state to register with government through the Ministry of Agriculture.
“We must give you space. You must tell us where you’re doing it.”
On the effectiveness of the new law in the state, Governor Fayose expressed joy that so far the law has been well adhered to and those who have flouted it have had their cattle impounded.
“You don’t rear cattle in my state after 6PM. I will have you arrested and take all the cows and we will turn some of them to stomach infrastructure immediately without delay.
“I will call the public, they will roast it. Those who do not have enough protein by themselves they cut the thigh, some take the arm and they enjoy.”
The governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose says the APC-led administration is losing focus as it should first save Nigerians from the pangs of hunger and reduce the poverty that pervades the land.
Governor Fayose who said this in a statement released on Tuesday in Ado Ekiti, added that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government should concentrate on delivering the social welfare programme it promised Nigerians instead of coming after him.
“This project ‘Fayose must be implicated at all cost’ will definitely not put food on the tables of Nigerians and for all I care, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and its collaborators can keep running from pillar to post while I keep delivering good governance to Ekiti and its people.” He said.
‘I got no Kobo from Obanikoro’
The governor also dismissed claims that former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro confessed to the EFCC that he received funds from the Office of the National Security Adviser under retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki to fund his election.
“We have gone pass this stage of media trial, EFCC should rather keep its gun powder dry, when we get to the bridge, we will cross it.
They said more than this in the 2006 poultry scam blackmail, despite that, I am the governor today.” He said.
According to the statement signed by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said he is reacting to these allegations to fulfill all righteousness.
He said “those who arranged the dramatic and compromised return of Senator Obanikoro to Nigeria obviously did so in continuation of their project ‘Fayose must be implicated at all cost’ but I am not bothered because my election was legitimately funded.”
A Challenge to EFCC
The governor also challenged the EFCC to probe the funding of the APC during the last general elections.
Governor Fayose said; “Since we are now in the era in which financial assistance from Nigerians to fund elections is being criminalised, the international community, especially those funding EFCC must insist that the commission probes the funding of APC elections before further funds are released to the commission.”
Former Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, may regain freedom soon from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), his spokesman says.
Mr Jonathan Eze said on Tuesday that Mr Obanikoro’s lawyers were working assiduously to secure his release.
His spokesman said in a statement that his principal was well and that the officials of the EFCC were cooperative.
Eze said the agency was conducting its interrogations decently without any form of intimidation and harassment.
He urged the supporters of the embattled former Minister to be patient, noting that the counsels are working tirelessly to secure his release.
The statement reads in parts: “Senator Musiliu Obanikoro is still in the custody of the EFCC, but I can confirm to you that he is strong and well.
“The EFCC officials are doing their job and as at this moment, we don’t have any reason to complain.
“We are optimistic that the operatives will conclude their questioning as soon as possible so that he can go home and rest since he hasn’t rested well, owing to the stress of travelling many hours from the United States.
“We are also confident that the EFCC will not indulge in the luxury of keeping him beyond reasonable time and days, especially as he submitted himself to them without stress”.
Mr Eze added that Senator Obanikoro was not afraid of his stewardship, saying he served Nigeria creditably well and was proud of his contributions so far.
Three months after his invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, has finally reported to the anti-graft agency.
Senator Obanikoro returned to the country on Monday from the U.S. and later proceeded to an EFCC facility.
The former minister who also represented Lagos state in the Senate, had been a subject of interest to the commission in connection with alleged diversion of arms funds.
He has been accused of involvement in corrupt practices, as the anti-corruption campaign of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration intensified with a clampdown on some public officials from the previous administration.
The EFCC has said that it has proof that Obanikoro received a total of 4.745 billion Naira from the office of the former National Security Adviser between April 4, 2014, and December 15, 2014 through companies belonging to his sons.
Mr Obanikoro has been in the United States since 2015 after the general elections, where he said he was pursuing leadership and language courses at an American university.
The 2015 election saw his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), unseated at the centre.
Indictment In #EkitiElection Scandal
Obanikoro was also named in the alleged manipulation of Ekiti State’s governorship election after the emergence of an audio said to have been recorded by a military officer who was at a meeting with some PDP members.
Mr Tope Aluko gave a breakdown of how series of meetings were held before the election and listed the persons at the meeting to include former President Jonathan, former PDP Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, Governor Fayose and himself (Aluko).
“At the meeting President Jonathan agreed that if he needed Ekiti, he would support us to ensure that we delivered.
“At the second meeting we had Obanikoro, Jelili, Omisore… It was a combination of Osun and Ekiti people and they were discussing how we were going to move to take the south-west
“Before the primaries, His Excellency, Ayodele Fayose, said that we can only win using the military. Then we came up with a plan about May,” he alleged.
He referred to the audio, which was leaked on the internet, saying it was genuine and not doctored.
The Army officer was retired in line with the recommendation of the Army panel set up to look into allegation of professional misconduct against him in connection with the conduct of June 14, 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State and the 2015 general elections.
A board of inquiry led by General Officer Commanding One Division of the Nigerian Army, led by Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, indicted the senior officer and others, recommending various degrees of sanctions for them.
Efforts of members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-west region of Nigeria to put forward a strong candidate for the chairmanship of the party appear to have hit a brick wall on Monday.
A meeting of the leaders of the party in the region held on Monday in Akure, the capital of Ondo State, ended without agreement on who becomes the candidate for the national chairmanship position of the party.
The national leadership of the party had earlier zoned the position to the south-west and at the meeting, leaders of the party were expected to agree on a consensus candidate ahead of the national convention planned to hold on August 17 in Port Harcourt, River State.
Briefing reporters after the meeting held at the Government House of Ondo State, the factional South-west Zonal Chairman of the party, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, revealed that the chairmanship was zoned to Lagos and Ogun States, while the deputy publicity secretary position went to Osun and Oyo; and the treasurer was zoned to Ekiti and Ondo States.
One of the chairmanship aspirants, Professor Taoheed Adedoja, from Oyo State, however, disagreed with the zoning arrangement insisting that all the aspirants must be allowed to test their popularity.
Another aspirant, Mr Bode George from Lagos State commended the oneness and cohesion of the party in the zone, expressing hope that all the issues in the party would be amicably resolved.
Those present at the meeting include Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko and his Ekiti State Counterpart, Ayo Fayose; Mr Ebenezer Babatope.
Others are Senator Seye Ogunlewe, Senator Olusola Obada, Senator Kofo Akere Bucknor, Senator Iyiola Omisore and Rasidi Adeojo among others.
Claiming Chairmanship Position
While the plan for the convention is ongoing, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is still claiming the chairmanship position, with a court ruling in his favour.
He had approached a court to stop the party from holding the planned convention, insisting that he remained the chairman of the party.
Senator Sheriff was removed by some members of the at an earlier Convention held in May, with a caretaker committee established.
The caretaker committee has set up two committees in preparation for the planned convention.
After Senator Sheriff’s removal, he insisted that a court order had stopped the convention from holding, an order he said led to his announcement of the convention’s postponement before he was removed by some members of the party.
His persistent claims to the leadership of the party and court orders in his favour have caused a divide in the leadership of the party.
On July 28, aFederal High Court sitting in Abuja affirmed Senator Sheriff as the authentic national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to Justice Okon Abang, only actions and decisions made by the Sheriff-led leadership are lawful and binding.
He, however, said that although he had the powers to nullify the ruling of the Port Harcourt division of the Federal High Court, which recognised the Makarfi-led leadership, he would not do so because there was no application to that effect before him.
Earlier on July 27, Senator Sheriff and eight others approached the Federal High Court, Abuja for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the party from conducting the national convention slated for August 17.
The court is yet to give its verdict on the request and the Senator Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee is going ahead with plans for the proposed convention.
The Presidency has dismissed as laughable the attempt by Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State to link wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, to US Congressman, William Jefferson’s bribery scandal for which the American lawmaker was convicted in 2009.
Reacting to Mr Fayose’s allegations in a press statement, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said that ordinarily the Presidency would have ignored Fayose because he is a man “childishly obsessed with the desire to grab the headlines and insulting people at will because of his incurably boorish instincts.”
Malam Garba explained however that “the Presidency chose to respond on this occasion for the sake of innocent Nigerians who might be misled by Fayose’s shameless and blatant distortion of facts”.
He said ignoring Fayose carries the risk of giving traction and credibility to outright and brazen falsehoods inconsistent with the status of anybody that calls himself a Governor or leader.
According to Shehu, Aisha had no direct, indirect or the remotest connection with William Jefferson’s corruption scandal in the United States.
He challenged Fayose to tell Nigerians if the so-called Aisha whose pictures he proudly, but ignorantly shared, was the same Aisha married to President Muhammadu Buhari, or if the Aisha of his idle imagination had any relationship by blood or any relationship in whatever form, with President Buhari’s wife.
Shehu also challenged the Ekiti Governor to produce evidence from the records of investigation and subsequent trial of Jefferson to prove that Buhari’s wife Aisha was in anyway linked to that scandal.
He explained that common names alone are not enough to automatically link innocent people to crimes or scandals, especially in an era of identity thieves.
He further challenged Fayose to show proof when and where Aisha Buhari was invited for interrogation in connection with Congressman William Jefferson’s bribery scandal, let alone indicted for a crime locally or abroad.
According to the Presidential Media Aide, free speech does not entitle Governor Fayose to falsely accuse innocent people of crimes they knew nothing about.
He warned Fayose that Aisha Buhari is entitled to protect her reputation from being recklessly maligned, adding that political opposition is not a licence to attack people’s reputation brazenly without legal consequences.