THOUSANDS of protesters on Friday took to the streets of Ado Ekiti to declare support for Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The protest held under the aegis of the Ekiti State Private Sector Union came a day after the opposition staged a similar rally asking the governor to waive his immunity and face corruption allegations against him.
Governor Fayose on Friday inaugurated the executives of the newly formed ESPSU, which is an amalgamation of all informal unions in the state.
The Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Mr. Clement Adekola, his counterpart in the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria, Mr. Samuel Agbede, and the leader of Okada Riders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Dahunsi Olaniyi, were inaugurated as the Chairman, Secretary and Vice Chairman of the union, respectively.
The governor boasted that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government would crumble if it waged a war against him under the guise of anti-corruption war.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has frozen the governor’s accounts with Zenith Bank and some of his associates after allegedly tracing N4.7bn from the Office of the National Security Adviser under Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) to them and two sons of a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro.
The governor complained that his current travails in the hands of the EFCC and allegations of receiving kickbacks from contractors was masterminded by the All Progressives Congress for the purpose of dimming the chances of his party during the 2018 governorship poll.
“They said I collected a sum of N1.3bn from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki to fund my election. Some even said I collected it through Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro. Let me put it on records that I did not know Col Dasuki and Obanikoro has not come out openly to indict me, because he has not returned from abroad .
“They said similar thing in 2006. It was all about second term then, because they didn’t want me to contest for second term. They said the N1.3bn project which I initiated was a scam, but God brought me back. The APC and EFCC conspirators took me before a Judge and I got justice.
“When God says yes, nobody can say no. God has given me uncommon favour over my enemies. I am presently using the mandate of God and Ekiti people and they are ready to defend the mandate and that is why you proudly came out today to express support for me.
“Nigerians have never had it so bad like this. People are suffering and hungry and President Buhari says he is fighting corruption. How can the FG increase fuel from N86 to N145? The price of kerosene is now over N200.
“No act of intimidation and harassment will shut my mouth. I will continue to talk about national issues”, he said.
Addressing the crowd, the ESPSU Chairman (Adekola) revealed that their membership strength is over 80,000, adding that coming under one umbrella was conceived as a way of increasing members’ access to good governance and to offer useful advice to the government.
Contributing, Agbede (secretary) said that the alleged conspiracy between the federal government and the opposition will fail.
“It is our view that in every election, the choice remains that of the people and Ekiti people made their choice on June 21, 2014 and that choice must be respected. Those who have formed the habit of causing political instability whenever they lose election are hereby warned to desist from collaborating with external forces to cause crisis.
“Freedom of thought and expression is guaranteed by the constitution
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria , and in exercising these rights, Governor Fayose won’t be intimidated by any agency of the federal government,” he added.
Fayose said no act of intimidation and harassment will shut his mouth as he would continue to talk about national issues.
“Somebody from Ekiti gave President Buhari N1.5b for campaign, but today he is being seen as a saint. When you want to campaign or do marriage, people will give you money and my own can’t be an exemption. I am not afraid of incarceration or death.
“APC problem is 2018 and as the God liveth, they are going nowhere. We will stand up and defend our state and the money they said they have gotten through anti-corruption should be spent for Nigerians,” he added.