The whereabouts of some members of the Ekiti state house of assembly has been unknown since Friday when operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) allegedly invaded the assembly.
According to Kola Oluwawole, speaker of the assembly, the visit of the security personnel took the lawmakers unawares.
Oluwawole claimed that men of the secret police shot sporadically within the assembly complex, resulting into tension and disruption of crucial activities.
The speaker described the incident as “the clandestine plot by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) federal government to destabilise the Ekiti state government”.
“Yesterday, the house of assembly chamber was invaded by armed men of the DSS, not minding that various committees of the house were meeting,” he said at a press conference.
“More than of them [sic], who were armed to the teeth, were shooting sporadically into the air within the assembly complex.
“Staff of the house of assembly had to scamper for safety. At the end of the commotion created, 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.”
Oluwawole said the assembly will not succumb to intimidation or any form of harassment, alleging that there were plans to arrest top government officials in the state based on the critical stance of Ayodele Fayose, governor of the state, against the president.
He compared the situation to the alleged invasion of the Akwa Ibom state government house by the DSS in 2015, wondering why the service has not told the public what made it storm Akwa Ibom.
The speaker said he and his colleagues were fully prepared and will resist any attempt to use the assembly to carry out any “ungodly” act.
“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,” he said.
“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.
“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 and his men, who are playing exactly the same role played between 1984 and 1985 by the National Security Organisation (NSO) under Lawal Rafindadi 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.” TheCable