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#OtvOPINIONS: Weird week in Ekiti! When 7 is bigger than 19 by Gbenga Ariyibi

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In the 26 -member state assembly, only one
was a member of the PDP, while the remaining
25 were members of the APC until the day the
governor was inaugurated when six APC
members dumped their party for the PDP.

This brought the number of APC lawmakers in
the assembly to 19 and PDP 7.
Before the face- off escalated, rumour flew
about that the APC under former Governor
Kayode Fayemi was working in concert with the
state judiciary to remove Fayose through the
court on the case on his eligibility for the
October 21 poll filed by Ekiti-based socio
organization, E-11.
The calculation, according to those in the PDP,
was that after the removal of Fayose and the
expiration of the four-year term of Fayemi, the
Speaker of the state assembly, Hon Adewale
Omirin, would naturally emerge as acting
governor and be in office for 90 days.
Therefore, Omirin has been under surveillance
by the PDP government.
This frosty relationship continued until
November 11 when the governor wrote to the
House to thrash three issues namely: The
screening and confirmation of the three
commissioner-nominees, the power to constitute
caretaker committees for the 16 local
government areas of the state, and approval to
source for N2billion loan from the Central Bank
of Nigeria (CBN).
The House at plenary merely approved the
raising of the N2billion CBN loan and tactically
turned down the two other requests.
The reason adduced for turning down the
confirmation of the commissioner-
nominees ,according to the lawmakers, was that
their curriculum vitaes were not available.
On the composition of the caretaker committees,
the House refused to deliberate on the issue on
the premise that the matter was pending in
court.
However, Sunday Vanguard gathered that the
lawmakers were only looking for excuses as they
were said to have made certain demands ,some
of which were considered ridiculous by the
Fayose government.
Among the demands, according to Owoseni
Ajayi, the new Attorney General and
Commissioner for Justice, was the issue of not
reopening murder cases hanging on the necks of
some top APC leaders in the state.
“Among their demands is they don’t want
Fayose to review the case of nolle prosequei, on
the murder case hanging on the necks of some
of them,” Ajayi said.
The relationship snowballed into the crisis of
Monday, November 17 when seven PDP
lawmakers in the assembly and three
unidentified people sat amidst tight security and
ratified the list of the three commissioner-
nominees.
The lawmakers, who appointed Speaker Pro
tempore, Hon Dele Olugbemi, equally
empowered the governor to appoint 12 Special
Advisers and constitute caretaker committees to
man the affairs of the 16 local government
councils in the state.
The assembly witnessed no fewer than 100 riot
policemen and a sizeable number of officials of
Department of State Security (DSS) who came
with armored personnel carriers to provide
security for the lawmakers.
The lawmakers were later taken out of the
assembly premises in a government bus.
The action of the lawmakers generated
reactions from the opposition APC who not only
condemned it but equally faulted the process
the lawmakers adopted.
According to a statement by the party’s image
maker, Taiwo Olatubosun, the APC insisted that
only seven PDP lawmakers were in the House as
against 10 claimed to have ratified the
commissioner-nominees.
Also,the Speaker, Omirin, alleged that the
account of the House was frozen on the order of
the governor.
However, the Chief Press Secretary to the
governor, Mr Idowu Adelusi, denied all the
allegations raised by the APC lawmakers.
Adelusi told newsmen that Fayose was not
interested in dabbling into the affairs of another
arm of government.
But the PDP lawmakers were not through with
their APC counterparts yet. Last Thursday, at the
assembly complex, they reconvened to impeach
Omirin and Hon. Tunji Orisalade as Speaker and
Deputy Speaker respectively.
Hon Dele Olugbemi from Ikole Constituency1
was subsequently elected the new Speaker while
Hon Abeni Olayinka,representing Ado
Constituency 2, emerged as Deputy Speaker.
After the change in the leadership of the
House,the leader of the Government Business,
Hon Ajibola, moved a motion to effect a change
in the slogan of the state from ‘Land of Honour’
to ‘Fountain of Knowledge’.
Speaking with the newsmen shortly after the
session,the new speaker, Olugbemi,promised to
work with the executive arm of government to
fast track the development of the state.
The lawmakers adjourned till Friday, November
24.
In his reaction in an interview on AIT in Lagos,
Omirin described his impeachment as
unacceptable.
He said all the APC lawmakers would return to
Ekiti on Monday (tomorrow) to resume at the
assembly.
Meanwhile, Fayose has cleared himself of the
allegation that he was instrumental to the
happenings in the House.
According to a statement by his spokesman,
Adelusi, the governor should not be linked with
the change in the leadership of the House.
“It is not only ridiculous, but also sheer
balderdash to link the executive arm of
government with what is happening in the
legislative arm. There is separation of power
among all tiers of government and Governor
Fayose is not a member of the assembly,”he
said.
“One does not need to be a professor of
mathematics to know that one third of 26 is
nine and the rule of the Assembly is that nine
members form a quorum and, when that
number of lawmakers agree to sit and
deliberate on issues, they are covered by the
rule of the Assembly.
“For those having any doubt about the identity
of the legislators attending the sitting of the
assembly, I believe the best place to find out is
from the assembly. Anybody interested in that
can contact the Clerk of the assembly.”

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