The confrontation between Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose and the state House of Assembly heightened on Wednesday with the government sealing off a filling station belonging to the Speaker, Adewale Omirin.
The speaker’s filling station, T. Five Integrated Service, is one of the four the government closed down in Ado-Ekiti to avert “unimaginable fire accident with attendant fatalities.”
The government, in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Idowu Adelusi, directed all the owners of the affected filling stations to report at the Ministry of Housing, Physical Planning and Urban Development with letters of approval.
Reacting to the closure, Omirin alleged that the governor ordered the closure of the filling station in order to intimidate and coerce him.
Omirin, a member of the All Progressives Congress and Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party are believed to be at loggerheads.
The speaker vowed in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media), Wole Olujobi, not to “buckle under undue political pressure to abandon his party for the PDP for selfish and pecuniary motives.”
He said that he met all the necessary environmental laws and got the necessary approval for the station.
The speaker wondered why the governor would start victimising those who did not share his political belief.
The statement quoted Omirin as saying that another assembly member, Joseph Olugbemi, had told him that the governor had made up his mind to close the filling station over his refusal to join the PDP.
Olugbemi is one of the six APC members that defected to the PDP on the day Fayose was inaugurated as the new governor of the state.
Omirin recalled that he had earlier promised the governor that the assembly would work with him in the interest of Ekiti people, to deliver dividends of democracy.
He said, “I called the governor to confirm what the honourable member told me about the plan to close my filling station. The governor denied any such plan, swearing that he would not pursue any victimisation agenda against his opponents.
“But only yesterday(Wednesday), 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 the principle in pursuit of selfish agenda .
According to him, the present atmosphere in the state does not call for high-handedness and persecution of opponents.
He warned that attacks on the opponents, particularly the lawmakers, would only smear the relationship between the Executive and Legislature.
But Fayose’s media aide denied that the decision to seal off the speaker’s filling station and others had any political undertone.
In a telephone interview with our correspondent, Adelusi maintained that, “Those filling stations sealed off by the Ministry of Physical and Urban Planning were because they contravened environmental laws.
“They were sited within residential areas. They are not supposed to be within the residential areas.
“They are not the only filling stations in the state capital. If they didn’t comply with the environmental laws, the law should take its course. It has no political undertone.
“Four filling stations were sealed off but it is an ongoing thing. The exercise will take place throughout the state. It is to sanitise the state and prevent fire (outbreak.)”
Fayose has however approved the appointment of Mr. Samuel Adeyemi as the Chairman, Ekiti State Petroleum Products Consumer Protection Agency.
The appointment takes immediate effect.
Fayose will today (Thursday) swear in Justice Emmanuel Omotoso as judge of the Ekiti State High Court.
Group, speaker disagree over alleged plot to impeach Fayose
Meanwhile, a group, the Ekiti Democratic Coalition, has alleged that 15 APC lawmakers in the state have been bribed with N800m to impeach Fayose.
The allegation is contained in a statement on Wednesday by the EDC Coordinator, Aderemi Olaleye.
The coalition alleged that the lawmakers met with a national leader of the APC and a former governor of the state in Lagos on Tuesday where the directive was given.
The statement read in part, “The lawmakers will be hinging the impeachment on the dissolution of Local Council Caretaker Committees.
“Apart from the Speaker, some of the lawmakers who attended the meeting were the Deputy Speaker, Adetunji Orisalade; the Majority Leader, Churchill Adedipe, Adetunji Odu, Ogunrinde Ojo-Olaseinde and others.”
The group alleged that the national leader instructed the assembly members to make sure that Ekiti State was made ungovernable for Fayose.
But the speaker, who denied being in Lagos on Tuesday, said he left Ekiti for Abuja that day.
Speaking through his Special Adviser , he described the allegation as the handiwork of the PDP.
The media aide accused the group of championing what the PDP failed to achieve when it tried to entice the APC lawmakers in the assembly.
He said, “Whatever the PDP wants to do, it accuses other of doing same. It was the party that tried to woo the lawmakers but failed.
“The speaker left Ekiti yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon for Abuja so how could he be in Lagos on the same day.”