The Ekiti State House of Assembly on Saturday said that four of its members are missing following alleged invasion of the Assembly complex on Friday evening by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS).
The Speaker of the Assembly, Kola Oluwawole, who addressed newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Saturday, said the members of the Assembly were in their various duty posts in the house when the operatives of the DSS invaded the complex.
Oluwawole said: “Not minding that various committees of the House were meeting, more than 10 DSS men who were armed to the teeth invaded the Assembly Complex, shooting sporadically into the air, thereby causing panic among members and staff of the House of Assembly, who had to scamper for safety.
“At the end of the commotion created by this barbaric act, we discovered that four of our members could not be found.
“It was only this morning that we were able to establish that Hon Afolabi Akanni, representing Efon Constituency was abducted and taken to Abuja. Whereabouts of three other members is still unknown as we speak, and reasons for the invasion and abduction of our members are not known.”
Ado-Ekiti- Ekiti State House of Assembly yesterday raised the alarm over the invasion of the Assembly complex by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) and abduction of some of its members.
According to Oluwawole, the DSS operatives had stormed the Assembly complex on Friday evening, shot into the air, sending staff and members into pandemonium.
The speaker, who was joined by 13 other members of the House for the press briefing claimed that the DSS operatives were from Abuja, when asked if he had sought to clarify the incident with the Ekiti command of the service, stating that that was what they learnt when they sought to know what was going on.
The House accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of being behind the alleged invasion, saying “we got it on good authority that the script now being acted by the DSS is part of the APC and President Buhari’s clandestine plot to cripple the Ekiti State government by arresting and detaining top functionaries of the government.”
The Assembly claimed that “the plot is to harass, intimidate and embarrass top officials of the Ayodele Fayose government because of his critical stance on the Buhari’s government,” and added that “we are aware that 18 of our members have been pencilled in for harassment and the game plan is to harass them to submission, with a view to coercing them into signing an already prepared notice of impeachment of the governor and his deputy.”
The house however expressed its readiness to reject any form of intimidation, saying “we wish to inform those orchestrating the harassment and intimidation of officials of the Ekiti State government, especially honourable members of the state House of Assembly that this is 2016 and not 2006. The same tactics used 10 years ago to truncate democracy in Ekiti State will not work this time.”
They said they wished “to tell the APC agents of political instability that this time round, this House of Assembly will not be available for any ungodly use.”
They added that they “also wish to remind Nigerians of how, in September 2016, the Federal Government invaded the Akwa Ibom State Government House with armed men of the Department of State Security (DSS).
“Up till today, Nigerians are yet to be told officially why, in a federal system of government in which federating units enjoy some degree of autonomy, the Government House occupied by a governor who enjoys the same immunity enjoyed by the President as provided by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was invaded by armed men of the DSS.
“While we are not afraid of persecution from anyone or government agency, including the DSS, we wish to state that the level at which the Buhari-led Federal Government is taking political vendetta and muzzling of opposition both in the Peoples Democratic Party and within the APC is dangerous to the survival of democracy in the country.
“Nigeria is not a banana republic that can be ruled anyhow by anyone and Mr Lawal Daura (from Katsina) and his men, who are playing exactly the same role played between 1984 and 1985 by the National Security Organisation (NSO) under Lawal Rafindadi (from Katsina) should know that this reign of brute force over constitutional democracy will fail.
“This is because we have seen them operate before and here they are now, trying to take us back to that inglorious era of dictatorship and barbarism where the DSS (then NSO) was used to oppress Nigerians, throwing them in jail without trial. This time around, we are in a democracy that can never accommodate that 1984 era of draconian rule.
“Let it be reiterated once again that this House of Assembly is a partner in the progress of the Ekiti State government under the able leadership of Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose. Therefore, the Abuja based agents of destabilisation should get it into their heads that we will never be harassed or intimidated into buying into their sinister agenda.”