Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of plotting to run down his government in the state.
Fayose is a governor under the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and has remained a staunch critic of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the president.
The governor, popularly thought to be controversial, warned on Sunday that his government and state would not be intimidated by the president.
He accused the president of sending officials of the Department of State Service, DSS, to distabilise his government.
DSS operatives had reportedly stormed the state on Saturday and reportedly arrested four of the House of Assembly members. No reason has been given for the action.
In reaction, Fayose declared that even if his State was invaded by one million armed men of the DSS on the order of President Buhari, the government and the people of the state would never be intimidated to surrender governance of the state to “political desperadoes, whose four
years reign destroyed the economy of the state.”
The governor, who said the DSS under President Buhari was operating beyond its constitutional mandate, added that “the government of Ekiti State may have to reconsider the usefulness of men of the DSS in the government house and other institutions of the state government.”
In the reaction released on his behalf by his media aide, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said the APC-led Federal Government was pursuing a clandestine agenda of truncating democracy in Ekiti State and other PDP-controlled states like Rivers and Bayelsa.
“If Buhari likes, let him relocate all DSS men in Nigeria with the entire ammunition in their armoury to Ekiti, the will of Ekiti people can never be broken. They will only try, and like they have always done, they will fail because dictatorship has never triumphed over the people.
“Even Buhari’s dictatorship between 1984 and 1985 ended one day and Nigerians will also outlive his present dictatorship,” he said.
The governor said the DSS under Buhari’s kinsman, Lawal Daura, has abandoned its core mandate of providing intelligence for the protection of the internal security of Nigeria as provided in the Security Agencies Act Cap. N74 LFN, 2004.
“Instead of assisting the police, military and other security agencies with classified matters, we now have a DSS that is running after perceived opponents of the president, arresting goat and fowl thieves as well as husbands who assaulted their wives.
“If the DSS was alive to its responsibilities, we won’t be having Boko Haram insurgents killing Nigerians, all these kidnappings and Fulani Herdsmen killings, raping and destroying farmlands in the South-West, South-East and North-Central zones in the country would have been nipped in the bud,” Fayose said.
He said the same way President Buhari used the National Security Organisation, NSO, headed by Ambassador Mohammed Lawal Rafindadi from Katsina State is the same way the President is using the DSS, headed by another of his kinsman to harass, oppress and intimidate Nigerians.
“It is obvious that democracy in Nigeria is becoming unsafe in the hands of Buhari and his APC and those keeping silent now because of politics may also end up in the belly of this roaring lion that is threatening to consume our democracy.
“Therefore, Nigerians and the international community should take special notice of the use of the DSS and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to muzzle opposition.
“As for me, I wish to say once again that I am not among those Nigerians that are afraid of harassment by any agency of the Federal Government.
“I make bold to state that in the overall interest of democracy and well-being of Nigerians, I will continue to speak my mind on issues bordering on governance in Nigeria. I will not be intimidated!” The governor said.