Fayose: Buhari, APC on Political Vendetta against Opposition

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•Accuses EFCC of plot to destabilise Ekiti

By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, has accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of plotting to muzzle opposition elements in the country under the guise of probing them for corruption.

The governor also accused the federal government and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of embarking on a clandestine plot to try and bring him and his administration in Ekiti State down for having the courage to speak  out against anomalies perpetrated by the APC-led administration.

Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, Fayose alleged “that some functionaries of the Ekiti State government, key  members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State, and some associates of his have now been penciled down for arrest and indefinite detention by the EFCC under the guise of investigating the funds spent by the PDP on the June 21, 2014 governorship election and the Presidential election.

“I called you here to intimate the public through your various media of the new clandestine plo of by the President Buhari-led APC federal government to destabilise the Ekiti State Government, using the instrumentalities of the EFCC,” he said.

On the alleged plot to arrest Ekiti State officials, Fayose said the game plan was to make those to be arrested get detained indefinitely, forced to make statements incriminating me, while at the same time feeding the public with orchestrated fake reports, using their usual media organs.

“A few days ago, we got it on good authority that there was a meeting with some politicians from Ekiti State, including an Ekiti-born Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and self-professed human rights activist by agents of the federal government, with the agenda solely, on how to bring down my administration as the governor of the state.

“Activities of these elements that are obviously afraid of facing another electoral defeat in 2018 are being coordinated through the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir Lawal and the Attorney General of the Federation.

According to the governor, the current plot is coming after the failure to use the Department of State Services (DSS) to coerce members of the state House of Assembly to buy into the impeachment plot against me with a view to silencing me being a  major voice of the opposition.

“The  plot to arrest and detain indefinitely my Chief of Staff, Chief Dipo Anisulowo and four honourable members of the state House of Assembly for treason. To achieve this sinister plot against the government and people of Ekiti State, we have been informed that some of their trusted allies in the EFCC have been mobilised to move to Ekiti any moment from now.

“I wish to state unequivocally, that no amount of intimidation, harassment, investigation, coercion, will make me stop speaking on behalf of the common who freely gave their mandate to the APC, who are now daily failing them.

“I however, wish to advice them to keep their gun power dry and should not be in a hurry, but rather, wait till the end of my tenure in 2018.

“Regarding the EFCC probe of his administration, the tough-talking governor said that he  will be available to answer any  questions, no matter how unreasonable when he leaves office.

“Most importantly, Nigerians must begin to ask the EFCC what has happened to the several petitions  against APC leaders and financiers of President Buhari’s election, including former governors.

“For instance, on September 29, 2014, the EFCC received a petition against former governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi and other APC top-shots in Ekiti State.  In the petition written by a group; Save Ekiti Coalition, six major complaints bordering on fraudulent practices were made with various documents attached.

“Also, on March 11, 2016, a petition on the misappropriation of N852.9m fund belonging to the Ekiti State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) was received by the ICPC. The petition, which had various documents attached was written by an Abuja based group; Vanguard for Credible Representation.

“One of the documents attached to this petition was Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) letter dated April 16, 2015, with Reference Number; UBEC/FA/SUBEB/EK/183/Vol.II/162 in which the withdrawal of the sum of N852, 936,713.92 counterpart fund belonging to the Ekiti SUBEB by Fayemi and others was described as a criminal act,  that violated Section 11(2) of UBE Act 2004. It was also on the basis of this financial crime that UBEC suspended Ekiti State from accessing any further FGN-UBE Intervention Fund.

“In another letter written on September 11, 2015, with Ref. No. PB/894/5, to the EFCC, which was acknowledge urging the commission to investigate  all the various petitions submitted to it on the fraudulent acts perpetrated by the immediate past APC government in the State has not seen the light of the day but rather,  the EFCC is running after vocal opponents of the APC like me, Ayodele Fayose.

“I wish to state unequivocally, that no amount of intimidation, harassment, investigation, coercion, will make me stop speaking on behalf of the common who freely gave their mandate to the APC, who are now daily failing them.

“Furthermore, it is on record that on August 11, 2015, the EFCC came up with an investigation report on the bribery allegation against Yobe State Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Habu Hinna Zarma.

“In its own report, the EFCC said N15 million was indeed deposited into the INEC REC Diamond Bank Plc (account number 0029126751) and Zenith Bank Plc (account number 1001127288) by the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Zakari Deba and one Bamaaji Mohammed Kukawa.

“Despite that as at April 8, 2015 that the N8 million was lodged into the INEC REC Diamond Bank account, only N28, 143.60 was in the account and the REC personally cashed N600, 000 on April 9, 2015, the EFCC only recommended the duo of ASP Zakari Deba (Yobe State Governor’s ADC) and Bamaaji Mohammed Kukawa for prosecution.

However, Fayose won election as governor on the platform of the PDP, wondered why the federal government has deemed wise to deploy the EFCC and the DSS go after only the opposition members and to probe only the campaign funds of PDP and not that of the APC.

“While we are not afraid of persecution from anyone or government agency, including the EFCC and DSS, I wish to state that the level at which the Buhari-led Federal Government is taking political vendetta and muzzling of opposition both in the PDP and within the APC, is dangerous to the survival of democracy in the country.

Nigerians must therefore begin to ask the EFCC why it has refused to act on petitions against APC members. Why is EFCC only interested in how PDP funded its elections? Was the fund used for President Buhari’s election gotten from the spirit world? Is EFCC now for persecution of PDP members? Must everyone that is not in the APC be subject of EFCC harassment?

“Can Nigerians forget in a jiffy the activities of most people in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari who ran their states aground in an effort to funding  president Muhammadu Buhari election.

“Please, can we ask the current government, who paid for all the chartered aircrafts used for the campaign, the payment for all logistics for the campaign?