by Godwin Akanfe
Femi Falana, SAN, has revealed that several industrialists and elite indigenes of Ekiti State have planned to flee the state, after the inauguration of the Ayo Fayose, the governor-elect.
Ayo Fayose defeated incumbent governor, Kayode Fayemi, to win the governorship election in Ekiti on 21 June, and his swearing-in is billed to hold on 16 October.
Falana, a prominent indigene of the state, says Fayose tenure, despite not having officially commenced, has already brought with it a series of violent activities and victimisation of innocent people.
He said, “It is clear that the people have been taken back to the era of state-sponsored terrorism. Already, rival drivers’ unions and urchins are unleashing mayhem on innocent people, including judges and judiciary workers. Fayose should be advised not to frustrate his own inauguration. With the ongoing political crisis, some development agencies have decided to pull out of the state. I know industrialists who have decided to relocate to neighbouring states. I have some friends who have resolved to go on exile from Ekiti State for the next four years.”
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria also urged the governor-elect to embrace the rule of law and avoid violent practices which could negatively affect the economy of Ekiti state.
“The exodus of business and the elite will have adverse effect on the fragile economy of the state because no investor takes funds to any place where the rule of law is in abeyance. The Ekiti people are perfectly entitled to elect whoever they like to govern them. That is what bourgeois democracy is all about. Up till now, the world is still paying for the decision of the American people to elect George Bush Jr. I believe that the wishes of the Ekiti electorate should be respected. However, Fayose owes himself a duty to turn away from violence because no leader can govern in an atmosphere of anarchy and chaos. He has to embrace the rule of law,” Falana added.
Meanwhile, a media aide to the governor-elect, Lere Olayinka, reacted to the comment of the Lagos lawyer, saying Ekiti people had made their choice and that Falana can choose to relocate elsewhere if he is unhappy with Fayose’s selection.
Olayinka said, “Ekiti people have spoken loudly with their votes and if the likes of Falana does not like the decision the people have made, they can relocate to wherever they so desire.”
“As for Fayose, he will remain committed to the welfare of the teachers, local government workers, civil servants, health workers, okada riders, artisans, market men and women, students and others who gave him their votes on June 21, not minding the anger of the likes of Falana, who believe that Ekiti people cannot choose their own governor”, he added.