Fayose Dares Buhari, says, ‘I can’t be cowed’ and You Can’t Stop Me From…..



Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose has dared the
Federal Government to carry out the alleged plot of
preventing him from travelling out of the country,
saying; “under the federal system of government,
state governors are not appendages of the
President and as a leading opposition figure in
Nigeria, he cannot be cowed by President
Mohammadu Buhari and his agents.”
The governor, who reacted to reports that two
governors, one from the Southwest and another
from the South South have been placed on travel
restriction on President Buhari’s order, in a press
conference addressed by his Special Assistant on
Public Communications and New Media, Lere
Olayinka, said; whenever he wished to travel out
Nigeria, he will do so in the full glare of the public.
He said; “I am not surprised or disappointed by this
latest plot of the Buhari’s government because the
President Buhari that we know is a man without
any atom of respect for the rights of Nigerians as
enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the
African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and
this he demonstrated as a military dictator and now
demonstrating as a democratically elected
president.”
The governor said he was however amazed that
“this dangerous dimension of compelling a sitting
governor that enjoys Constitutional Immunity like
the President to obtain clearance from the Director
General of the Department of State Service (DSS)
before travelling out of Nigeria can ever be
contemplated.”
He said President Buhari and his agents should be
mindful of the fact that under a federal system of
government, the states and national government
both enjoy some autonomy, with sovereign power
formally divided between the national government
and the States such that each State retains some
degree of control over its internal affairs.
Olayinka, who was flanked by the Chief Press
Secretary to the Governor, Mr Idowu Adelusi, said;
“Few days ago, when Governor Ayodele Fayose was
reliably informed that President Mohammadu
Buhari had directed that he should be banned from
traveling outside Nigeria, he simply took the
information as mere rumour, concluding that
disrespect for the constitution of Nigeria and
Buhari’s dictatorship would not be extended to the
most ridiculous level of preventing a governor
elected just as the president from traveling out of
the country.
“The thinking of Governor Fayose was that even
though the Buhari’s presidency was capable of even
attempting to prevent those opposed to the
President from breathing the air, it must still be
sane enough to be conscious of the consequences
of placing any Nigerian under travel ban without an
order of the court, not to talk of a sitting governor
that enjoys constitutional immunity like the
President.
“However, when we read the story titled; “2 govs
under watch, face travel ban” published on Sunday
by two major national dailies, we have no option
than to once again alert the public on President
Buhari’s new dictatorial plot to infringe on the
constitutional rights of Governor Fayose just
because of his critical position on the President’s
dictatorial tendencies.
“The question is; if Governor Fayose has become a
threat to the security of Nigeria just because he
criticises President Buhari and says the truth about
his mis-governance of the country, is this not a
confirmation that the President hates dissenting
views?
“Section 35 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as
amended) provides that; “Every person shall be
entitled to his personal liberty and no person shall
be deprived of such liberty,” while Section 41 (1)
provides that “Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to
move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in
any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be
expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereto or
exit therefrom.”
“Article 13 (1) of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights to which Nigeria is a signatory
provides that ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of
movement and residence within the border of each
State’ while Article 13 (2) provides that ‘Everyone
has the right to leave any country, including his
own, and return to his country,’ ditto Article 12 (2)
of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’
Rights.
“President Buhari and his agents should also be
mindful of the fact that under a federal system of
government, the states and national government
both enjoy some autonomy, with sovereign power
formally divided between the national government
and the States such that each State retains some
degree of control over its internal affairs.
“Therefore, the President of Nigeria cannot lord
himself over any State governor and President
Buhari and his agents should accept this basic
reality and stop behaving as if they own Nigeria in
totality.
“President Buhari and his agents, especially his
kinsman; Alhaji Lawal Daura of the DSS need to
purge themselves of this blood of dictatorship
running in their veins and be guided by the
Constitution of Nigeria.
“Even ordinary Nigerians do not require clearance
from the DSS or any security agency to travel
outside Nigeria unless travel restriction is placed
by an order of the court, not to talk of State
Governors that enjoy immunity just like the
President and are not under the control of the
President.
“The president and his agents should know that this
is not 1984 when General Buhari, as a military
dictator prevented late Chief Obafemi Awolowo
from travelling outside Nigeria for medical
treatment, thereby leading to his (Awolowo)
untimely death in 1987!
“They should also be reminded that the same way
Buhari humiliated the late Ooni of Ife, Oba
Okunade Sijuwade; late Emir of Kano Alhaji Ado
Bayero and late Obi of Onitsha, Ofala Akulalia
Alphonsus Ogugua in 1984 by seizing their
passports and restricting them to their palaces just
because they travelled to Israel for business, he
cannot restrict State governors from travelling
outside Nigeria under whatever guise.
“I therefore wish to state on behalf of Governor
Ayodele Fayose that as an opposition figure, he
cannot be cowed by this pettiness from the
presidency. Governor Fayose, by this press
conference is daring President Buhari and his anti-
democratic agents to carry out this evil and
shameful plot and let us all see how far it will take
them.
“Anytime Governor Fayose wishes to travel out of
Nigeria, he will do so in the full glare of the public
and we await how he will be prevented from
exercising his rights as enshrined in the 1999
Constitution (as amended) as well as the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and the African
Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
“We also wish to inform the President and his DSS
men that as they were disgraced when they invaded
Ekiti State House of Assembly, arresting members
of the House indiscriminately, they will be put to
shame this time too.
“Also, the National Assembly is being alerted of this
new threat to the Constitution of Nigeria by those
who swore to protect it. Members of the National
Assembly should by now begin to imagine what will
be their fate if attempt is now being made to place
travel restriction on State Governors.
“It is our considered view that President Buhari
should rather concern himself with the growing
insecurity in the country and charge the security
agencies, especially the DSS to perform their
functions as enshrined in the constitution instead
of running after petty issues.
“The President should focus his attention on the
economy of Nigeria that is almost collapsing and
stop using his position to oppress other Nigerians.
He should know that Nigerians are only interested
in having food on their tables, not the number of
people their President hounds into detention or
oppress with his powers.”

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Author: Yung ZEELEE MD

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