Members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly on Monday, staged a peaceful protest at both embassies of the United States and United Kingdom in Abuja, over the March 4, 2016, invasion of the Assembly complex and subsequent abduction of four of their colleagues by operatives of the Department of State Services.
The lawmakers, numbering about 18 and led by the Speaker, Honourable Kola Oluwawole; his deputy, Honourable Segun Adewumi and House Leader, Honourable Adetunji Akinyele, called on the international community to intervene and save democracy in Nigeria from imminent collapse.
They also submitted a letter entitled; “Re: Political intolerance in Ekiti State”, and the resolution passed at its sitting of Wednesday, March 9, in which the lawmakers stated expressly that they were solidly behind Governor Ayodele Fayose and can never be coerced or induced to sign any impeachment notice against him.
Carrying placards with various inscriptions, the lawmakers said: “We want to state here categorically that no amount of intimidation, harassment and oppression will make us impeach our leader and benefactor, Governor Ayodele Fayose. The DSS should therefore know that the 2006 theory they are working on will not work this time around”.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: ‘DSS harassment is about 2018, we won’t be cowed’, ‘DSS, this impunity must stop! This is democracy, not dictatorship’, ‘DSS, don’t destroy our democracy, respect rule of law’, ‘Fayose remains our leader, we won’t impeach him, Nigerians need change, not chains’, ‘Buhari, face economy and security, not opposition’ and ‘DSS, free Ekiti lawmakers; we are legislators, not criminals’.
The protesting lawmakers, who spoke through Dr Samuel Omotoso, Honourable Gboyega Aribisogan and Honourable Adewumi, alleged that they were being harassed, with some of their houses being visited by men who claimed to be officials of the DSS.
They further stated that the process of abduction of the four lawmakers was illegal, crude, uncivilised and barbaric because the DSS neither formally informed the speaker nor the state governor of their intention to arrest any member of the assembly.
The protest letter read in part; “The Federal Government set up an inglorious military panel to probe the level of security involvement in that peaceful governorship election of June 21, 2014. These were the same security agencies that had been commended for their efficiency in that election. The Federal Government is bent on scuttling the election of Governor Ayodele Fayose through diabolical means.
“After the failure of the military panel to achieve its desired objective, another plot is now being hatched. The APC-led Federal Government has orchestrated a wave of arrest and intimidation of members of the House of Assembly and cabinet members of the present administration in Ekiti State”.