by Kolapo Olapoju
The impasse between the Governor of Ekiti state, Ayo Fayose and the 19 All Progressives Congress lawmakers of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, could have been resolved today, Monday, May 25, but they just could not arrive at a middle ground.
They met behind closed doors in Sunview Hotel, Alagbaka, in Akure, Ondo state, to try and resolve the crisis that has engulfed the state since November 2014.
The meeting which lasted over five hours, had 5 of the APC lawmakers in attendance, which included the embattled Speaker, Dr. Adewale Omirin, his deputy, Tunji Orisalade, Bunmi Orilowo, Churchill Adedipe and Gbenga Odebunmi.
The remaining persons present at the meeting were; Chief of staff to the Governor, Mr. Dipo Anisulowo; the Ekiti State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Owoseni Ajayi; a lawmaker-elect, Mr. Kola Oluwawole, and the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. John James.
Soundbites from both camps after the meeting suggested that although they tried to shift ground, they simply weren’t ready to meet each other halfway.
Fayose was offering to the lawmakers the arrears of their salaries and other entitlements, and yes, they wanted the offer alongside something else, a return to status quo.
In essence, they wanted the illegally impeached speaker, Adewale Omirin, reinstated and everything returned back to normal, like it all never happened.
But it seemingly didn’t fly with the governor, who came out to say: “I don’t want to answer any question, but we are only going to make one statement and the statement is: Today, we have met in the overall interest of our state believing that we will be able to find solution to the problem.”
After the meeting, Fayose left while the five lawmakers continued with the meeting, only to release a statement afterwards through Omirin’s Special Adviser on Media, Wole Olujobi.
The lawmakers said they insisted on a return to the status quo as of November 11, 2014, before any peace deal could be struck, adding that Fayose admitted that he might have difficulty in resolving the return to the status quo because the matter was already in court.
They said: “While the governor emphasised before the lawmakers the offer of their salaries and other entitlements, the lawmakers insisted on the return to the status quo as of November 11, 2014.
That means restoring all the principal officers to their positions and all aides of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, including those of other principal officers should be restored to their positions.
The lawmakers made it clear they were ready to return to their jobs and the governor should provide atmosphere for that possibility. They asked the governor to clear the House of Assembly of thugs and create conditions that would make them do their jobs without any security threats.
They insisted that restoring the security aides of the principal officers and opening the Assembly for resumption of their legal duties should be the starting point for the restoration of peace.”