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Ekiti lawmakers: Only God can stop Fayose from travelling

Members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly have vowed that the state governor, Mr. Ayodele Fay­ose, will never take permis­sion from any individual or security agencies before travelling outside the coun­try. They declared this during a courtesy visit to the corpo­rate headquarters of The Sun Publishing Ltd in Lagos, yesterday.

A four-man deputation of the lawmakers, led by Dr. Samuel Omotoso, stressed that Governor Fayose would never subject himself to such an order or directive, which, they described as not only ri­diculous, but an insult. Omotoso accussed the Federal Government of trying to exercise a power it lacked, noting that under the Nigerian Constitution, Fayose, as a state governor, enjoyed autonomy, and was, therefore, not under any ob­ligation to submit himself to such directive.

‘’This order or directive is an abuse of the constitu­tion. It is illegal and uncon­stitutional. It can’t work. It is in a state of absolutism and despotism that somebody will just wake up one day and say that somebody can’t travel without permission. The Federal Government doesn’t have such powers. The present Federal Govern­ment is gradually sliding into dictatorship, and we want Nigerians to be vigilant’’, Omotoso declared.

The lawmaker said Fay­ose would not be intimidated or be distracted by the direc­tive.

“Governor Fayose will travel any time he wants to travel, and he will never take permission from anybody including civil servants and security agents. The only person he will take permis­sion from is God. Anybody that thinks Fayose will show up in his office to take any permission is deceiving him­self’’, said Omotoso, adding that it was only a court of competent jurisdiction that could deny any citizen the right of free movement.

‘’Freedom of movement is guaranteed by the Consti­tution, it is only a law court and not even an ordinary court, but a court of compe­tent jurisdiction that can or­der restriction of movement of an individual. Federal Government is accordingly advised not to do anything that will ridicule Nigeria be­fore the rest of the world.”

Decrying what it de­scribed as the lack-lustre attitude of human rights ac­tivists in the country to some of the recent events taking place in the country, the leg­islators said the activists no longer have the courage to speak out against cases of constitutional abuses in the country.

Said Omotoso: ‘’Human rights activists in Nigeria have gone on sabbatical. When last have they spo­ken or their voices heard on issues of social justice? It appears they have been compromised. Some of them are looking for appointments under this government. As things stand today it is only the media that remains the only hope of the downtrod­den’’.

In his response, the Man­aging Director and Editor- In-Chief of The Sun newspa­per, Mr. Eric Osagie, noted that the matter brought up by the lawmakers was a legal one, and a test for Nigerian democracy.

“The issue you brought up is a legal one and also a test for our democracy. But as a media organization, our own is to report events as they un­fold. We’re non-partisan and non-aligned,” Osagie said, adding: “We’re the voice of the nation. We’re for all Ni­gerians.”

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