The Ekiti State House of Assembly, at the weekend, cried out over the invasion of the Assembly complex on Friday by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) and abduction of some of its members, warning that it would not condone dictatorial tendencies in the current democratic era. The House raised the alarm at a press conference addressed by the Speaker, Right Honourable (Pastor) Kola Oluwawole; his deputy, Right Honourable Segun Adewumi; chairman of House Committee on Health, Dr Babajide Omotoso, and other House members that were not affected by the DSS abduction, on Saturday. In a statement at the briefing, Pastor Oluwawole condemned the manner in which the DSS operatives stormed the Assembly complex, at about 3.00 p.m., on Friday, shooting sporadically into the sky and sending staff and members scampering for safety, after which four of the legislators around were taken to an unknown whereabouts. A statement by the chairman of the House Committee on Information, Chief Olugboyega Aribisogan, which detailed the development, added that various committee members of the House were having meetings connected with their oversight functions at the time of the incident. He said it was after more than six hours that one of the affected lawmakers, Honourable Akanni Afolabi, representing Efon constituency, was able to contact his colleagues, disclosing that he was whisked to Abuja by the security men, adding that the whereabouts of the remaining three legislators was yet to be known. “We have called you here to intimate the public through your various media, the clandestine plot by the President Mohammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal Government to destabilise the Ekiti State government, using the instrumentalities of the Department of State Services (DSS). “Yesterday, the House of Assembly chamber was invaded by armed men of the DSS, not minding that various committees of the House were meeting. More than 10 DSS men who were armed to the teeth invaded the Assembly complex, shooting sporadically into the air, thereby causing panic among members and staff of the House of Assembly, who had to scamper for safety. “At the end of the commotion created by this barbaric act, we discovered that four of our members could not be found. It was only this morning that we were able to establish that Honourable Afolabi Akanni, representing Efon Constituency, was abducted and taken to Abuja. Whereabouts of three other members is still unknown as we speak, and reasons for the invasion and abduction of our members are not known,” he lamented. Oluwawole laid the blame of the invasion and abduction of his colleagues at the door step of the Federal Government, induced by the APC, vowing that their known plot to “harass and intimidate” the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government in the state would never work. “However, we got it on good authority that the script now being acted by the DSS is part of the APC and President Buhari’s clandestine plot to cripple the Ekiti State Government by arresting and detaining top functionaries of the government. The plot is to harass, intimidate and embarrass top officials of the Ayodele Fayose-led government because of his critical stance on the Buhari-led government. “We are aware that 18 of our members have been penciled in for harassment and the game plan is to harass them to submission, with a view to coercing them into signing an already prepared notice of impeachment of the governor and his deputy. “However, we wish to inform those orchestrating the harassment and intimidation of officials of the Ekiti State government, especially honourable members of the State House of Assembly that this is 2016 and not 2006. The same tactics used 10 years ago to truncate democracy in Ekiti State will not work this time,” Oluwawole added. He maintained that the House would never make itself available for anyone to destabilize a democratically-elected government in the state, adding that the DSS drama that played out in Akwa Ibom State last year shrouded in secrecy was what was being re-enacted in Ekiti State. “We, therefore, wish to tell the APC agents of political instability that this time around, this House of Assembly will not be available for any ungodly use. We also wish to remind Nigerians of how in September last year, the Federal Government invaded the Akwa Ibom State Government House with armed men of the DSS. “Up till today, Nigerians are yet to be told officially why, in a federal system of government in which federating units enjoy some degree of autonomy, the Government House occupied by a governor who enjoys the same immunity enjoyed by the President as provided by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was invaded by armed men of the DSS. “While we are not afraid of persecution from anyone or government agency, including the DSS, we wish to state that the level at which the Buhari-led Federal Government is taking political vendetta and muzzling of opposition both in the Peoples PDP and within the APC is dangerous to the survival of democracy in the country. “Nigeria is not a banana republic that can be ruled anyhow by anyone and Mr Lawal Daura (from Katsina) and his men, who are playing exactly the same role played between 1984 and 1985 by the National Security Organisation (NSO) under Lawal Rafindadi (from Katsina) should know that this reign of brute force over constitutional democracy will fail. This is because we have seen them operate before and here they are now, trying to take us back to that inglorious era of dictatorship and barbarism where the DSS (then NSO) was used to oppress Nigerians, throwing them in jail without trial. This time around, we are in a democracy that can never accommodate that 1984 era of draconian rule. “Lastly, let it be reiterated once again that this House of Assembly is a partner in the progress of the Ekiti State government under the able leadership of Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose. Therefore, the Abuja-based agents of destabilisation should get it into their heads that we will never be harassed or intimidated into buying into their sinister agenda,” the Speaker said.
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