Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has dared the Federal
Government to carry out the alleged plot of preventing him from
travelling out of the country , saying; “under the federal system of
government, State governors are not appendages of the President and as
a leading opposition figure in Nigeria, he cannot be cowed by
President Mohammadu Buhari and his agents.”

The governor, who reacted to reports that two governors, one from the
Southwest and another from the South South have been placed on travel
restriction on President Buhari’s order, in a press conference
addressed by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New
Media, Lere Olayinka, said; whenever he wished to travel out Nigeria,
he will do so in the full glare of the public.

He said; “I am not surprised or disappointed by this latest plot of
the Buhari’s government because the President Buhari that we know is a
man without any atom of respect for the rights of Nigerians as
enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and
Peoples’ Rights and this he demonstrated as a military dictator and
now demonstrating as a democratically elected president.”

The governor said he was however amazed that “this dangerous dimension
of compelling a sitting governor that enjoys Constitutional Immunity
like the President to obtain clearance from the Director General of
the Department of State Service (DSS) before travelling out of Nigeria
can ever be contemplated.”

He said President Buhari and his agents should be mindful of the fact
that under a federal system of government, the states and national
government both enjoy some autonomy, with sovereign power formally
divided between the national government and the States such that each
State retains some degree of control over its internal affairs.
Olayinka, who was flanked by the Chief Press Secretary to the
Governor, Mr Idowu Adelusi said; “Few days ago, when Governor Ayodele
Fayose was reliably informed that President Mohammadu Buhari had
directed that he should be banned from traveling outside Nigeria, he
simply took the information as mere rumour, concluding that disrespect
for the constitution of Nigeria and Buhari’s dictatorship would not be
extended to the most ridiculous level of preventing a governor elected
just as the president from traveling out of the country.

“The thinking of Governor Fayose was that even though the Buhari’s
presidency was capable of even attempting to prevent those opposed to
the President from breathing the air, it must still be sane enough to
be conscious of the consequences of placing any Nigerian under travel
ban without an order of the court, not to talk of a sitting governor
that enjoys constitutional immunity like the President.

“However, when we read the story titled; “2 govs under watch, face
travel ban” published on Sunday by two major national dailies, we have
no option than to once again alert the public on President Buhari’s
new dictatorial plot to infringe on the constitutional rights of
Governor Fayose just because of his critical position on the
President’s dictatorial tendencies.

“The question is; if Governor Fayose has become a threat to the
security of Nigeria just because he criticises President Buhari and
says the truth about his mis-governance of the country, is this  not a
confirmation that the President hates dissenting views?

“Section 35 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that;
“Every person shall be entitled to his personal liberty and no person
shall be deprived of such liberty,” while Section 41 (1) provides that
“Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout
Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria
shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereto or exit
therefrom.”

“Article 13 (1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which
Nigeria is a signatory provides that ‘Everyone has the right to
freedom of movement and residence within the border of each State’
while Article 13 (2) provides that ‘Everyone has the right to leave
any country, including his own, and return to his country,’ ditto
Article 12 (2) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

“President Buhari and his agents should also be mindful of the fact
that under a federal system of government, the states and national
government both enjoy some autonomy, with sovereign power formally
divided between the national government and the States such that each
State retains some degree of control over its internal affairs.

“Therefore, the President of Nigeria cannot lord himself over any
State governor and President Buhari and his agents should accept this
basic reality and stop behaving as if they own Nigeria in totality.

“President Buhari and his agents, especially his kinsman; Alhaji Lawal
Daura of the DSS need to purge themselves of this blood of
dictatorship running in their veins and be guided by the Constitution
of Nigeria.

“Even ordinary Nigerians do not require clearance from the DSS or any
security agency to travel outside Nigeria unless travel restriction is
placed by an order of the court, not to talk of State Governors that
enjoy immunity just like the President and are not under the control
of the President.

“The president and his agents should know that this is not 1984 when
General Buhari, as a military dictator prevented late Chief Obafemi
Awolowo from travelling outside Nigeria for medical treatment, thereby
leading to his (Awolowo) untimely death in 1987!

“They should also be reminded that the same way Buhari humiliated the
late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade; late Emir of Kano Alhaji Ado
Bayero and late Obi of Onitsha, Ofala Akulalia Alphonsus Ogugua in
1984 by seizing their passports and restricting them to their palaces
just because they travelled to Israel for business, he cannot restrict
State governors from travelling outside Nigeria under whatever guise.

“I therefore wish to state on behalf of Governor Ayodele Fayose that
as an opposition figure, he cannot be cowed by this pettiness from the
presidency. Governor Fayose, by this press conference is daring
President Buhari and his anti-democratic agents to carry out this evil
and shameful plot and let us all see how far it will take them.

“Anytime Governor Fayose wishes to travel out of Nigeria, he will do
so in the full glare of the public and we await how he will be
prevented from exercising his rights as enshrined in the 1999
Constitution (as amended) as well as the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

“We also wish to inform the President and his DSS men that as they
were disgraced when they invaded Ekiti State House of Assembly,
arresting members of the House indiscriminately, they will be put to
shame this time too.

“Also, the National Assembly is being alerted of this new threat to
the Constitution of Nigeria by those who swore to protect it. Members
of the National Assembly should by now begin to imagine what will be
their fate if attempt is now being made to place travel restriction on
State Governors.

“It is our considered view that President Buhari should rather concern
himself with the growing insecurity in the country and charge the
security agencies, especially the DSS to perform their functions as
enshrined in the constitution instead of running after petty issues.

“The President should focus his attention on the economy of Nigeria
that is almost collapsing and stop using his position to oppress other
Nigerians. He should know that Nigerians are only interested in having
food on their tables, not the number of people their President hounds
into detention or oppress with his powers.”


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