· Denies selling Governor’s Lodge in Abuja
Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi yesterday alleged that his immediate predecessor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose leased his personal apartment in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to the state and collected N120 million for a period of four years.
Fayemi, Chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), also alleged that Fayose illegally sold the official land acquired by the state’s first civilian governor, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo for the building of the state lodge in Abuja.
He made these allegations in a statement his Senior Special Assistant on Public Communications, Mr. Segun Dipe issued yesterday, denying claims that Fayemi had sold the state lodge in the FCT.
The PDP had in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Diran Odeyemi accused Fayemi of selling the building to an unnamed investor, which he described as financial recklessness and misgovernance.
Faulting the claims of Ekiti PDP, Fayemi denied the allegation that his administration had sold off the Ekiti State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja.
He, thus, clarified that his administration was just carrying out reconstruction of the lodge having been allegedly abandoned throughout the administration of Fayose and became rickety.
He said: “Lest the critics have forgotten, Fayemi is not like Fayose who shrewdly rented his personal apartment located in the same Asokoro axis to the state for his own use in Abuja, at a cost of N30 million with N3 million agency fee per year, amounting to N120 million (plus N12 million agency fees) in four years.
“The same Fayose illegally disposed off the official land acquired by the first civilian governor, Adebayo for the building of the lodge. Up till now, the lodge has remained in private hands and the Fayemi administration is the one trying to take possession of the land in the name of Ekiti State.”
In the day-to-day exercise of administrative powers, the governor noted that circumspection “is required. This is what separates the current administration of Dr. Kayode Fayemi from that of its PDP predecessor
“It is actually not for the pained PDP to dictate what the priority of an APC administration should be, rather it is the business of the administration of Dr. Fayemi to prioritise projects, in so far as it is properly communicated to the people.
“The Fayemi administration has kept faith with workers in the way the PDP could not. If reconstruction of the dilapidated lodge in Abuja is deemed a priority, and for as long as it does not interfere with the meeting of other necessary obligations, then, it should be left for the government to decide.”
Fayemi said the current position he holds as the chairman of the Nigeria’s Governors Forum had made him a regular caller in Abuja than any past governor.
He said: “There was hardly any week he did not visit Abuja before the Covid-19. Unlike Fayose, Fayemi would rather stay in his private residence at no cost to the state.
“If Fayemi were a Fayose, he would have rented his personal house to the state and collected huge rent or better still, lodge in presidential suites in hotels. He has refused to do any of these.
“Due process is not just about how humans are legally treated, but also how resources are judiciously deployed. When a leader makes due process his watchword like Fayemi has done, both his dealings with humans and utilisation of resources would be self-moderated and such leader would have nothing to fear.”
Fayemi told the opposition and those he branded as “ill-informed propagandists” to savour the freedom of information law of the state to investigate these facts, instead on embarking on a wild goose chase.
He added that the same property was purchased during the Segun Oni era from a co-PDP governor of Osun State at the time, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
According to him, it was not so good for habitation since the roof was leaking. This made Fayose to totally abandon it and thus make it become much worse.
Due to his twin style of good governance and due process, Fayemi said he had to order the demolition of the building because it was found to be structurally weak and dangerous for habitation after it was criminally abandoned for four years by the administration of Fayose.
He said: “This was adequately provided for in both the 2019 and 2020 Budgets and this is available on the internet for anyone’s perusal. It was well advertised, bid for and duly awarded.
“If the opposition PDP is still agonising as to whether due process has been followed or not, that it enjoys the freedom to approach the court being part of their democratic right.”
Minneapolis Cop, Chauvin charged with third-degree murder.
Eddie Alegbe with agency report.
The police officer who was seen on video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died in custody after pleading that he could not breathe was arrested late Friday and charged with murder in a case that sparked protests across the United States and violence in Minneapolis.
Mike Freeman, the Hennepin County Attorney said Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Freeman also said a criminal complaint would be made available and that more charges were possible.
In the video that has gone viral, Chauvin is seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck as Floyd is on the ground. He gradually became motionless as Chauvin and three other officers ignored bystanders’ shouts to get off him.
Freeman said the investigation continued into the other three officers, but that authorities “felt it was appropriate to focus on the most dangerous perpetrator.”
The county attorney also highlighted the “extraordinary speed” in charging the case just four days after Floyd’s death, but also defended himself against questions about why it did not happen sooner. He said his office needed time to put together evidence, including what he called the “horrible” video by a bystander. He said he would not bring a case unless he had enough evidence to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
Protests in Minneapolis escalated in violence on Thursday, when demonstrators torched a police station that officers had abandoned.
“I’m not insensitive to what happened in the streets,” Freeman said. “My own home has been picketed regularly.”
News of the arrest came moments after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz acknowledged the “abject failure” of the response to the protests and called for swift justice for officers involved.
The governor said the state would take over the response to the violence and that it’s time to show respect and dignity to those who were suffering.
“Minneapolis and St. Paul are on fire. The fire is still smoldering in our streets. The ashes are symbolic of decades and generations of pain, of anguish unheard,” Walz said, adding. “Now generations of pain is manifesting itself in front of the world — and the world is watching.”
The governor cited a call he received from a state senator who described her district “on fire, no police, no firefighters, no social control, constituents locked in houses wondering what they were going to do.
That is an abject failure that cannot happen.”
His comments came the morning after protesters torched a police station that officers abandoned during a third night of violence. Livestream video showed protesters entering the building, where intentionally set fires activated smoke alarms and sprinklers.
US President Donald Trump threatened action, tweeting “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” which prompted a warning from Twitter for “glorifying violence.”
The governor faced tough questions after National Guard leader Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen blamed a lack of clarity about the Guard’s mission for a slow response. Walz said the state was in a supporting role and that it was up to city leaders to run the situation. Walz said it became apparent as the 3rd Precinct was lost that the state had to step in, which happened at 12:05 a.m. Requests from the cities for resources “never came,” he said.
“You will not see that tonight, there will be
no lack of leadership,” the Governor said.