- Tell your runaway lawmakers to return to Ekiti – PDP
- Ekiti people won’t accept voodoo budget – APC
By Demola Atobaba, Ado-Ekiti
The controversy rocking the Ekiti State House of Assembly has took another dimension has both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), engaged in allegation and counter allegations over the illegal presentation of the 2015 budget in the state by the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Peter Ayodele Fayose.
Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, who counselled the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state to bring back the party’s runaway lawmakers, saying; “No individual, group or political party can hold the state to ransom.”
Commenting over the presentation of the 2015 Budget to the House of Assembly, the Special Assistant to the governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka said: “It is shameful and wicked for the APC and its leaders to think that they can hold the entire people of Ekiti down just because they lost power.”
Olayinka, who warned the APC lawmakers of the consequences of losing their seats should they continue to abdicate their legislative duties, added that: “By the rule of the House of Assembly, each member must attend the House sittings for 181 days in a year.”
He said the sitting of the House in which the 2015 Budget was presented today was lawful, adding that; “The court of law is there for the loudmouths in the APC to approach if they have any genuine complain to make.”
The governor’s aide said: “Today is December 15 and the APC lawmakers know that 2015 Budget must be presented as provided by the 1999 Constitution. Yet, some of the APC lawmakers refused to report in the House of Assembly, except three of them, who are interested in the progress and development of the state.
“The reality is that we are not in the Ekiti of 2007 where the APC (then ACN) lawmakers made presentation of the 2008 Budget by the then Governor, Engr Segun Oni almost impossible.
“The business of government in Ekiti State will not wait for the APC and their retrogressive lawmakers, and the party leaders must know this and advise the former Speaker, Adewale Omirin and his runaway lawmakers to return to Ekiti.”
But the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has counselled Governor Ayodele Fayose to always follow legal steps in the governance and financial management of the state.
Reacting to the budget presentation to the House of Assembly on Monday, the state’s Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatubosun, said the manner of its presentation by the governor was a constitutional breach, as it was illegal and absurd to present the state budget to only seven of the 26-member House of Assembly in less than 20 minutes.
Olatubosun noted that the seven members of PDP in the Assembly had earlier sat to illegally confirm commissioner-nominees and approve the dissolution and reconstitution of the local governments, among others, stressing that Monday illegal sitting with a full house of thugs was a new dimension to the constitutional breaches and lawlessness by the Executive.
“We never knew that Ekiti people could be brought to this low record in decency and respect for the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by herding thugs to the hallowed chamber of the House of Assembly to join seven members to present state budget.
“The standard practice is for the governor to present the state budget to members in full session while the public sit at the gallery to watch proceedings. But in this instance, thugs intermingled with the lawmakers in a plenary in such a way that you cannot differentiate a lawmaker from a thug.”
The APC spokesman criticized the barring of journalists, including the in-house correspondents, from covering the event, even as he berated the governor for rallying reporters to the Assembly after presenting the budget at the illegal sitting for a press briefing. He asked journalists to be professional in their duties to save democracy.
His words: “What is the use of calling reporters you intentionally barred from covering the main budget presentation to a post-budget presentation briefing if not to cover up the thugs that sat with the seven members to conduct that illegal sitting? This is time for activism in journalism.
“Reporters must begin to ask questions on the abnormality and breaches of the constitution in governance process.”
Olatubosun called the attention of Nigerians and lovers of democracy around the world to the reign of impunity in Ekiti State. He urged all organs and agencies of government responsible for budget processing not to get themselves involved in any financial transactions based on the “illegal budget”, saying all actions on the budget and transactions involving the features of the budget are illegal until it is legally presented to a legally constituted House of Assembly composed of 19 members of APC and their seven colleagues in PDP.
He also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to beam their lights on government financial transactions in Ekiti State in the face of mindless plot to defraud Ekiti people through illegal conduct in the financial management of public funds.