Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose has said money is at the root of the problems between him and the House of Assembly.
The governor said his refusal to continue to “grease the lawmakers’ palms” after they had collected money from him at least three times created the latest crisis rocking the Assembly.
Fayose made the allegation on his maiden media chat, “Meet Your Governor”, which was aired live by major electronic media in the state.
He alleged that the lawmakers demanded N1 million each before they could screen and clear his commissioner-nominees. The governor alleged that the Speaker, Dr Adewale Omirin, demanded that the lawmakers be given at least 10 per cent of the N2 billion loan his administration intended to secure from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to finance agriculture and small scale businesses.
Fayose accused the 19 All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers of harbouring plans to remove him from office.
Fayose, who spoke in Yoruba, said: “The last time I met the Speaker, he told me he was going to Abuja and he promised to see me when he returned but the next thing I heard was that he was in Lagos.
“It is you my people who can save me because it was by your votes that I am in this position today. You my fathers, my mothers, artisans, okada riders and traders must rise up and help me.
“Will you keep on looking when they want to remove me at all cost? They are blocking all the good things I want to do for you.
“When I assumed office, I discovered that the House’s running grant was N48 million of which the Speaker got N2.5 million and the Deputy Speaker N1.5 million and I told them that was no longer sustainable.
“They insisted that their own grant must be left intact but I reduced their money by 50 per cent.
“They came to me three times and they went away with something. In fact, they asked that they be given N1 million each before passing the commissioners’ list.”
But Omirin absolved himself and the 18 APC lawmakers of blame in the bribery saga. He said it was the seven PDP lawmakers who demanded N200 million.
He accused Fayose of lying and setting the people against the APC lawmakers, saying the action could make the governor a laughing stock to the more intelligent people of Ekiti.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Wole Olujobi, the Speaker defended the integrity of the APC caucus, maintaining that it never demanded any bribe before doing the job for which they were voted to do.
He said throughout former Governor Kayode Fayemi’s administration during which 75 bills were passed into law, the lawmakers never demanded for anything before doing their jobs.
The Speaker said instead of blaming the seven PDP members for demanding 10 per cent of the N2billion fund, the governor had turned full circle to accuse the APC lawmakers.
His words: “I have never seen this kind of incorrigible attitude all my life. He told us to our face that he would lie against us to set Ekiti people against us. I thought it was a joke.
“In actual fact, it was the PDP members who suggested that we should demand 10 per cent cut in the N2 billion loan and all the APC lawmakers said no. We even called the attention of the governor to this attempted fraud.
“How the governor has now turned to accuse us of demanding bribe is baffling. One good thing though is that Ekiti people know the kind of governor they have.
“The alleged N1.3billion poultry fraud case is still in court. There were many sugar coated things that he told Ekiti people about the project.
“Evidence of that lie and allegation of fraud can be found in Justice Adamu Hobon’s court at the Federal High Court in Ado-Ekiti where details of how the governor allegedly defrauded Ekiti people are being examined.”
The Speaker urged Ekiti people to beware of the masters of theatrics, who have turned statecraft to the theatre of the absurd, where stunts and propaganda had taken the place of reason and candour.
Omirin added: “I am happy that my colleagues and I have clean records. We have never committed crimes either in Nigeria or abroad.
“We have no question marks on our certificates. Nobody can accuse us of committing crimes abroad and sneaking into Nigeria to escape justice.
“We have never been accused of murder. None of us has criminal cases in courts. We are decent men and women who can point to where we are coming from without shame.
“Nobody can accuse us of lying under oath. None of us has ever covered a copy of dictionary with the cover of the Holy Bible and used it to swear an oath.
“Nobody can accuse us of swearing to an oath in the filling of our Code of Conduct and assets declaration form.”
Omirin said the APC lawmakers would continue to tread the path of integrity to save the state from dishonest people.