Banks in Ado Ekiti were again shut on Friday as organised labour took over the streets to protest against plot to impeach Governor Ayodele Fayose by the 19 All Progressives Congress lawmakers of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.
The labour unions comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and Joint Negotiating Council had on Thursday declared Friday as a work-free day for workers in the state’s civil service to pray for peace in Ekiti. They also declared a six-hour lockdown for public transportation in the state.
But the APC said no matter the number of labour unions engaged to embark on spurious solidarity rallies and blockade of Ekiti roads; it would not stop the lawmakers from performing their constitutional duties as affirmed by the courts.
Commercial vehicles and motorcycles were off the roads between 6.00 am and 12 noon on Friday while private car owners had a hectic time on the roads.
Workers in the state civil service adhered strictly to the stay-at-home order issued to them on Thursday as the secretariat was under lock and key when our correspondent visited the place.
Union members mounted roadblocks to ensure strict compliance with the restriction order on Basiri- Fajuyi-Old Garage- Ajilosun road, and the bank road leading to the state’s secretariat and Assembly complex.
The NLC Secretary in the State, Mr. Ade Obatoye, told journalists that the move to impeach Fayose had triggered restiveness in the state. He urged the lawmakers to allow the people to enjoy the mandate freely given to the governor.
He said, “Though, we agree with Hon. Adewale Omirin that he has the right to fight for his right, but he must wait for the outcome of the suit he instituted against his impeachment. He cannot because of this plunge Ekiti into crisis because he stands impeached until the court rules otherwise.
“The people of Ekiti did not only vote for Fayose, but the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land had also revalidated it. We appeal to the APC to wait for four years when there will be chance to elect another governor and if they can appeal to our people, they can get it back, but not the way they are presently doing.”
Obatoye added, “In an atmosphere of unrest just as we are witnessing now, the citizens will bear the brunt. The will of the people must be allowed to prevail. The loser of an election must allow the winner to enjoy it.
“We beg the lawmakers to allow Fayose to settle for work so that the people can enjoy the dividends of democracy in the areas of infrastructure development. The loser of the Lagos governorship election, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, has congratulated Mr. Akin Ambode and this is what we envisaged for Ekiti.
“If actually Omirin and his people knew they were popular, they would not have run away from the state because the people will be ready to defend them. Our advice to them is to embrace peace because we are going to resist any attempt to impeach Fayose.”
Reacting to the blockade of roads leading into Ado-Ekiti by the supporters of the governor, the APC state Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatubosun, said in a statement that the governor ordered the blockade of the entry points to prevent the APC lawmakers from accessing the Assembly to carry out their legislative duties.
“In this latest show of shame arising from his apprehension about Thursday’s Abuja Federal High Court’s refusal to grant his application to stop the 19 APC lawmakers from impeaching him, he employed the services of the drivers union to cause untold hardship to Ekiti people who were prevented from going about their lawful duties.
“We have now realised that the two-day public holiday he declared in the state for peace is to actualise this evil plan. We have also realised that the man that is supposed to be the state chief security officer is the state chief security risk.
“It is so bad that the dead was not spared from this barbaric act as a casket conveying a dead body was forced open by Fayose’s thugs because they suspected it could be Speaker Adewale Omirin who was about to be smuggled into the Assembly.
“A man who claims to be popular does not need to employ the services of thugs and the coercion of all labour unions into embarking on a solidarity rally to prove that he is popular.