Mr. Ayodele Fayose, governor of Ekiti state, has called on the national assembly to be conscious of a “new threat to the constitution”, saying President Muhammadu Buhari is trying to compel him to seek clearance from the Department of State Services (DSS) before travelling abroad.
Describing himself as a leading opposition figure in the country, the governor said he was elected just like the president, and had the right to enjoy immunity.
He also accused the president of exhibiting dictatorial tendencies, saying he will go all the way to resist any attempt to breach his constitutional right.
“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,” he said in a statement issued on his behalf by Lere Olayinka, his spokesman.
“Few days ago, when Governor Ayodele Fayose was reliably informed that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that he should be banned from travelling 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; ‘Two 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?”
“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.”
Fayose, who said he would not be cowed, vowed to disgrace officials of the secret police if they attempt to stop him from going abroad.
He advised the president to channel the energy being used for “petty issues” to solving the problems confronting the country.
“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,” the statement read.
“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.
“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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