Human Rights activist and Lagos lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, has said that some indigenes of Ekiti State are planning to go on self-exile as soon as the governor-elect of the state, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, is sworn-in next week.
Fayose, who won the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will take over from Dr. Kayode Fayemi next week Thursday.
Falana, who hails from the state, said, “It is clear that the people have been taken back to the era of state-sponsored terrorism. Already, rival drivers’ unions and urchins are unleashing mayhem on innocent people, including judges and judiciary workers.
“Fayose should be advised not to frustrate his own inauguration. With the ongoing political crisis, some development agencies have decided to pull out of the state.
“I know industrialists who have decided to relocate to neighbouring states. I have some friends who have resolved to go on exile from Ekiti State for the next four years.
“The exodus of business and the elite will have adverse effect on the fragile economy of the state because no investor takes funds to any place where the rule of law is in abeyance”.
Responding to an inquiry on whether the Ekiti electorate made a mistake in electing Fayose as their next governor, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria said the wishes of the people must be respected.
“The Ekiti people are perfectly entitled to elect whoever they like to govern them. That is what bourgeois democracy is all about. Up till now, the world is still paying for the decision of the American people to elect George Bush Jr. I believe that the wishes of the Ekiti electorate should be respected”, he said.
“However, Fayose owes himself a duty to turn away from violence because no leader can govern in an atmosphere of anarchy and chaos. He has to embrace the rule of law”, Falana added.
Reacting to Falana’s claims, a media aide to the governor-elect, Lere Olayinka, said the Ekiti people had made their choice and that “Falana, as a lawyer, should know that he does not have more stake in Ekiti than the over 200,000 Ekiti people, who expressed their preference for Fayose with their votes on June 21”.
Olayinka said, “Ekiti people have spoken loudly with their votes and if the likes of Falana does not like the decision the people have made, they can relocate to wherever they so desire.
“As for Fayose, he will remain committed to the welfare of the teachers, local government workers, civil servants, health workers, okada riders, artisans, market men and women, students and others who gave him their votes on June 21, not minding the anger of the likes of Falana, who believe that Ekiti people cannot choose their own governor”, the media aide said.