By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
Barely five days to the tenure expiration of the outgoing Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, crisis on Thursday hit the state House of Assembly, as the speaker,Hon. Kolawole Oluwawole and his Deputy, Hon. Sina Animasaun,were removed from offices by lawmakers.
However,the change of guard development appeared similar to what was witnessed in 2014 when Governor Ayodele Fayose assumed office.
The Assembly however reinstated the former deputy speaker,Hon. Segun Adewumi to his former position.
Hon. Gboyega Aribisogan,former Minority leader,was elected the new leader of Business.
The lawmakers,made up of three APC and 11 PDP Lawmakers,suspended other12 lawmakers, including Oluwawole for125 legislative days.
Those suspended were: Hons. Kola Oluwawole,Sina Animasahun,Dr. Samuel Omotoso,Wale Onigiobi,Wale Ayeni,Dare Pelemọ,Jeje Samuel,Dayo Akinleye,
At the sitting,Hon. Sunday Akinniyi of the APC extraction was elected
Minority Leader, Fajana Ojo-Ade, Deputy Leader,Hon. Cecilia Dada,
Chief Whip,and Hon. Musa Arogundade,Deputy Chief Whip.
Addressing the newsmen after the plenary,Aribisogan,the new Leader of Business,said Oluwawole and other PDP lawmakers were suspended over alleged complicity in the disappearance of N60 million in the House.
He also added that they were also slammed with suspension for
ineptitude,saying they allegedly allowed the reputation of the
Assembly to be destroyed by the governor with their attitudes.
Aribisogan also stated that the assembly under Oluwawole was poorly funded,became practically a subservient of the executive and the speakership position was hijacked by powerful members, owing to their closeness to the governor.
He also accused the former speaker of betraying Ekiti populace by
holding a secret plenary last month with other suspended members to
approve N10 billion supplementary budget sent by Fayose.
“Today, we held a plenary session which was a follow up to the
parliamentary we held yesterday and we carried out changes in the
leadership of the House.
“When the PDP members were busy doing the presidential primary in Port Harcourt,we were busy here strategizing on how best to make Ekiti governance for the incoming government, Dr Kayode Fayemi.
“14 members sat to carry out these changes out of which 11 are
addressing this press conference. We have 26 members in this Assembly,and we needed just nine to form quorum.
“Our actions were guided by the standing orders of this Assembly and we didn’t deviate from it, so the quorum was formed and our actions were legal and constitutional”,he added.
He added that the PDP still remains the majority party in the Assembly
and that those who carried out the removal did so in the overriding
interest of Ekiti people.
The new Speaker,Hon. Alagbada , in his acceptance speech, appreciated the members for reposing confidence in him, saying he won’t betray the confidence the trust .
“You are aware that the House has since inception of the present
administration becomes the property of the governor rather than an arm of government. Ekiti State is yearning for a purposeful legislature that would be truly committed and independent to discharge it’s constitutional duties.
“We will no longer allow a situation whereby legislature will be
pocketed or caged by the executive. Let me assure all and sundry that that we will cooperate with the governor-elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi to move Ekiti forward.
“You will recall that the fourth assembly changed its leadership in
2014 when sme members of APC defected to PDP to facilitate the smooth take off of Mr. Fayose. So, history is only repeating itself and
there is nothing extra ordinary in what we have done”
The Speaker announced the dissolution of all statutory and standing committees of the House, urging the chairmen to hand over to their respective secretaries.
But the suspended speaker, Oluwawole, has described his purported impeachment today as a rape on democracy and an a descent to lowest level of lawlessness and illegality.
According to a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Stephen Gbadamosi, Oluwawole said those who carried out the illegality were provided police cover and they prevented other members and even staff
of the House from gaining entrance into the complex.
“This is bizarre! In a democracy? This is the height of illegality and
it can never stand. As the Speaker of the House, I supervised over the
last adjournment of the House, which was carried out according to laws and laid down rules.
“I retain the power to reconvene the House and i have not done that
yet. How then can some people say the House sat? This is totally
illegal. The role of the police in this siege is clear. It was enemies
of democracy that purported the House sat. Ekiti State House of
Assembly has not been reconvened by its speaker, “he
Meanwhile,the outgoing State Governor,Chief Ayodele Fayose condemned the role allegedly played by the security agencies in the impeachment of Ekiti State Speaker, Pastor Kola Oluwawole saying it is regretable.
Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary,Mr. Idowu Adelusi,the governor said he had done his best to reposition the state and he would leave the office in few days time.
Fayose urged all the stakeholders particularly the legislative arm of the government to put the interest of Ekiti first.
The Governor stated further,”above all,with Kola Oluwawole or Ebenezer Alagbada as speaker,I enjoin them to cooperate with the incoming administration in the overall interest of our people.”