BY WOLE BALOGUN, ADO EKITI
ADO-EKITI, Ekiti State capital, yesterday shut down for Governor Ayodele Fayose as hundreds of artisans, drivers, Okada riders,
mechanics, tailors, barbers and hair-dressers among others trooped out in support of the governor and in protest against the freezing of his accounts with Zenith Bank by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The group, under the aegis of Ekiti State Private Sector Union, was led by the state Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Mr. Clement Adekola, his counterpart in the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Mr. Samuel Agbede, and the leader of Okada Riders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Dahunsi Olaniyi and other 40 unions of the informal sectors.
The rally was apparently in reaction to the All Progressives Congress (APC) led anti-Fayose protest held on Thursday, where the protesters okayed the freezing of the governor’s accounts and called for further probe against him. But the pro-Fayose group dismissed EFCC’s action against the governor as a deliberate witch-hunt against an opposition voice, while also warning the APC in the state to desist from acts capable of blackmailing the state government and destabilising Ekiti.
Addressing the crowd , the union’s Chairman, Mr. Adekola and Secretary, Comrade Agbede, who revealed that their membership strength is over 80,000, said coming under one umbrella was conceived as a way of increasing members’ access to good governance and to offer useful advice to the government on how best to run the state, also warned APC against destabilising Ekiti over the defeat it suffered during the June 21, 2014 governorship poll.
Agbede asserted that the alleged conspiracy between the Federal Government and the opposition will fail adding: “It is our view that in every election, the choice remains that of the people and Ekiti people made their choice on June 21, 2014, and that choice must be respected. Those who have formed the habit of causing political instability whenever they lose election are hereby warned to desist from collaborating with external forces to cause trouble.
“Freedom of thought and expression is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria , and in exercising these rights, Governor Fayose won’t be intimidated by any agency of the Federal Government”, Agbede stated.
Governor Fayose, who also spoke at the rally, before he took a walk with supporters across the capital city, said: “They said I collected N1.3 billion from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki to fund my election. Some even said I collected it through Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro.