The supposed peace parley between the Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose, and the 19 All Progressive Congress (APC), lawmakers in the state called by elder statesman Chief Afe Babalola that was scheduled to hold Thursday, April 30, 2015 at the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti did not go as planned as the APC lawmakers refused to attend the meeting.
Even though the APC lawmakers were absent, the meeting still held and 10 resolutions were reached. All participants agreed that peace is paramount. Here are a summary of the resolutions:
•Security chiefs will be impartial and maintain law and order at all times
•That the meeting regrets that the 19 APC lawmakers did not attend
•That it was agreed that peace will be restored with the cooperation of all and the other party must be present in subsequent meetings
•That the 19 APC lawmakers should return to base and attend other meetings to be organised and their return will be championed by security chiefs
•That the governor is to shift ground if that will produce peace
•That the body would hold regular meetings
•That if the other side agrees to come to peace meetings, our governor is prepared to shift ground on all contending issues
•That the meeting agrees from available materials and evidence of the Commissioner of Police and Director of Department of State Services that there was no arrangement or directive that any of them (opposition legislators) will be arrested
•That it was agreed that the media should correctly and accurately report what transpired at the meeting.
The Ekiti State governor has allegedly ‘shifted ground’ for the APC lawmakers to ensure the resolution of the bad blood between him and the lawmakers.
The governor also denied the APC lawmakers’ allegation that he wants to arrest them at the meeting. The APC had alleged that the governor wanted to arrest them and keep them out of circulation until the end of their tenure. He also said that the media was helping to fuel the crisis and that the state did not deserve the headlines being foisted on it.
He said: “Am not a first-time governor, I am better informed now to know the difference between the executive and the legislature. If not for experience, this PDP government would have become history. The difference between the last time and now is the experience I have. The last time, they came and took off my neck, should I look on for them to cut my head again? No. It is wrong for people to keep saying to me that you are the father. Should I as a father sit and allow someone cut off my nose and hand. Then later return to remove my eyes and finally cut off my head? What will I turn to? I want to appeal to the media because they have done enough damage to the state. Tomorrow, you will see headlines, such as ‘APC lawmakers shun Afe Babalola’; ‘APC lawmakers accuse Fayose of trying to kill them’ or ‘Fayose begs’. They are looking for technicalities to remove Fayose and it shows that there is a motive to consume this state. How can 19 people sit in one corner saying they want to undo what the people have done?”
He said: “I am ready to shift ground to see that they finish their tenure successfully and pay them all their dues. I’m ready to work with them and make them happy. It is not only during crisis we should be having a forum like this.”
Babalola on his part regretted the absence of the APC lawmakers, saying he had made necessary arrangements for their safety.
He said former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun, was on his way to the meeting before receiving information that the meeting had been cancelled, which made him to return to Lagos.
Babalola said his prayer was that peace should reign in Ekiti to set it on the path of development.
Olugbemi alleged that he was part of a meeting held with senior APC leaders where a plot was hatched to remove Fayose. The factional speaker said he would prefer a face-to-face meeting with the APC lawmakers alleging that “those sponsoring them have nothing against the governor other than to remove him”.
Commissioner of Police Joshua Ibine and Director of DSS said the security agencies had no plans to arrest the APC lawmakers. According to them, their resolve was to abide by their constitutional roles to ensure security of lives and property and preservation of law and order.