ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – There are indications that the alleged plan by the Federal Government to bar Governor Fayose of Ekiti State from making foreign trip might have been connected with his utterances against Muhammad Buhari administration.
An intelligence source disclosed to Sundiata Post on Wednesday that apart from the numerous verbal attacks against the Presidency and All Progressive Congress (APC), the government at the centre did not take it kindly with Fayose’s utterances in China.
According to the source, the Presidency felt embarrassed when the outspoken governor from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked the Chinese government not to grant the recent loan deal signed by Nigeria and China.
Even before then, said the source, the Presidency has not been comfortable with most of the utterances of the governor but has been, however, hampered by constitutional constraints to order him for questioning.
“The Federal government was both alarmed and embarrassed when Fayose went to China to oppose the loan deal”, said the source, who noted that since then the governor has to be watched closely including any planned foreign trips.
The Ekiti State Governor had on Tuesday opened a lead on the issue and dared the Federal Government to carry out the alleged plot of preventing him from travelling out of the country, saying; “Under the federal system of government, state governors are not appendages of the president and as a leading opposition figure in Nigeria, I cannot be cowed by President Muhammadu Buhari and his agents.”
Fayose was said to have reacted to reports that two governors, one from the South-west and another from the South-south had been placed on travel restriction on Buhari’s order, insisting in a press conference addressed by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, that “whenever he wished to travel out of Nigeria, he will do so in the full glare of the public”.
“I am not surprised or disappointed by this latest plot of the Buhari’s government because the president that we know is a man without any atom of respect for the rights of Nigerians as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and this he demonstrated as a military dictator and now demonstrating it as a democratically elected president.”
Sources have also revealed that the second governor under security watch and alleged restriction order is Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State over slightly different reasons.
Wike, who has had a power struggle and running battle with his immediate predecessor and current Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, is being watched over the security situation in Rivers State in particular and Niger Delta in general.
“The second governor is Wike. The possible reasons for planned action revolves around the Fayose utterances against the Presidency and likelihood of saying same abroad like he did in China. Secondly, is the suspicion of Wike over the ongoing crisis in Niger Delta and risk of what he might do outside the shores,” an intelligent source said.
However, the source noted, there is consensus that since Fayose has raised the alarm they might not carry it out and to also avoid backlash from human rights groups and international community.
Fayose had in his statement expressed shock that “this dangerous dimension of compelling a sitting governor that enjoys constitutional immunity like the president to obtain clearance from the Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS) before travelling out of Nigerian can ever be contemplated.”
He also cited “Section 35 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that; “Every person shall be entitled to his personal liberty and no person shall be deprived of such liberty,” while Section 41 (1) provides that “Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereto or exit therefrom.”
“Article 13 (1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Nigeria is a signatory provides that ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the border of each State’ while Article 13 (2) provides that ‘Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his country,’ ditto Article 12 (2) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.”