Operation Impeachment: Governor Ajimobi might be the next.

Abiola-Ajimobi

FEAR hightened last weekend in Oyo State over possibilities of impeachment against Governor Ajimobi. This is as result of series of secret political moves and meetings by members of the state House of Assembly.


 

The development in Oyo is coming just as one of our
correspondents gathered that there was apprehension in
Borno State over the rumoured defection of the former
Governor of the state, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff, to the
Peoples Democratic Party. There are fears the defection might
ignite a political crisis in the state.

In Oyo, a source told one of our correspondents in confidence
that, at least, 24 House members had been meeting secretly
and that more members were being wooed to join the group.

He said 10 legislators from the APC had joined the 14 other
legislators from the PDP and AP and that they were holding
secret meetings on the modalities to impeach either the
governor or the speaker, Monsurat Sumonu.

The House has 32 members with the All Progressives Congress
having 18 members; Peoples Democratic Party nine; while the
Accord Party, which had seven, now has five members.

The source said, “The House has been calm because the
speaker is dancing to the governor’s tune. Once she is
removed, the new Speaker can go ahead to implement the
impeachment plan. But the problem is that the group has yet
to agree on who will be the next Speaker. For the PDP to
have that power, it must improve on its present figure in the
house. I am aware that it is being worked on with a move to
woo AP legislators and possibly some APC legislators in the
house,” he said.

Signs early in the week that impeachment plans were being
hatched were denied by the majority leader of the House,
Oyeniyi Akande. Speaking on behalf of the 18 APC members
during an emergency press conference, Akande said a report
that APC members were part of a meeting held with the PDP
and Accord last weekend could not stand the test of time.
He said, “I am using this period to debunk that statement that
APC members were part of that meeting; they were not part
of that meeting at all, none of our members was in that
meeting. I am saying it categorically that we are solidly
behind our governor, Ajimobi, beyond 2015. We have the
positive opinion that he is going to win the second term
election.”

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The minority leader in the house, Rafiu Adekunle, however
said that some members of the ruling APC were part of the
meeting, and that for safety reasons, he would not give their
names.

“For political reasons, no member of APC can boldly come out
and affirm my claim publicly. Let me tell you emphatically,
immediately after plenary, four other members signified their
readiness to associate with the project.”

On Tuesday, a release signed by all APC members where they
denied holding any meeting with a group was issued. This
was a confirmation of the source’s claim which also backed
the fact that there was an impeachment fear in the state.
The Chairman of APC in the state, Mr. Akin Oke, told our
correspondent that he did not envisage an impeachment
move in the state, confirming that the party’s members in the
house were made to pledge their support to the governor.

He said, “This era of impeachment is not good for our
democracy. If a governor’s achievement is not satisfactory
after three years in government, why not wait till the next
election to remove him through the electorate? Instead of
sponsoring legislators to remove governors, the electorate
should be allowed to decide that.

“In Oyo State or anywhere in the South-West, it is not
possible to remove our governors. The 18 legislators in Oyo
have come out to deny meeting legislators from the PDP and
AP. It shows that such a move will not be welcome in Oyo.
Ajimobi and the legislators have always enjoyed a good
relationship so why should there be fear over his
impeachment?” asked the chairman.

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But the PDP chairman in the state, Yinka Taiwo, told our
correspondent on Friday that there were six APC lawmakers
holding talks with the PDP on how to move to the party.
“The minority leader who is a PDP member in the house is
handling the matter. I am aware that six APC lawmakers in
the house are talking with him. They said they were not
happy with the APC and are eager to join the PDP. We are
considering their proposal,” he said.

In Borno State, some political observers argued that the
defection of Modu-Sheriff, the estranged godfather of the
present governor, Kashim Shettima, would make it easy for
the ruling PDP to effect the removal of the governor.
Already, the former governor has three members of the
House of Representatives, AbdulRahman Terab, Peter Biye
and Lawan Isa, who are set to move with him to the new
party.

Though many of the members of the House of Assembly have
not come out to associate openly with the former governor,
they are suspected to be holding secret talks with him and
may move with him to the PDP.

The permission given by the presidency to the former
governor to land at the Maiduguri International Airport,
which has been closed to all manner of flights for over two
weeks, some observers have noted, is a pointer to the extent
that the PDP will empower the ex-governor to upturn the
political balance in the state.

The thinking is that with what happened in Adamawa State
where the governor was removed and in Nasarawa, where
the governor has been served with notice of impeachment,
many believe Borno may be in the radar of the President and
the PDP for a similar treatment.

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But a member of the state House of Assembly, who spoke
under anonymity, said Borno lawmakers would not mete out
the same treatment to Shettima, saying, “He has been nice to
us and we see ourselves as part and parcel of this
administration. We have never had any major crisis under
this dispensation and why now?”

The lawmaker said the current chairman of the APC in the
state, Hon. Bukar Ali Dalori, was a member of the Assembly.
“So, why should we betray such trust and go with the
opposition who can never be trusted.”

Another respected politician in the state, who did not want
his name in print, said, “2015 is still a long way away and if
Sheriff brings enough money from Abuja, he could destabilise
the system and even move for the governor’s impeachment.”

A top aide to Shettima, who would not have his name in
print, said, “The issue of impeachment doesn’t arise in Borno
State. The issue will only be a distraction and the governor is
focused on delivering on his promises to the people of Borno
State.”

He added, “Of course, you know that unlike what obtained in
Adamawa, a PDP lawmaker in Borno State defected to APC.
The State chairman was from the State Assembly, all of these
confirm the level of cohesion between the two arms, and it
will be difficult to change this.”

 

 

Source: Punch