Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has 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, he cannot be cowed by President Muhammadu Buhari and his agents.”
The governor, who reacted to reports that two governors, one from the South West and another from the South South have been placed on travel restriction on President Buhari’s order, in a press conference addressed by his special assistant on public communications and new media, Lere Olayinka, said whenever he wished to travel out Nigeria, he will do so in the full glare of the public.
He said: “I am not surprised or disappointed by this latest plot of the Buhari’s government because President Buhari 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 as a democratically elected president.” Fayose said he was however amazed 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 Nigeria can ever be contemplated.”
He said President Buhari and his agents should be mindful of the fact that under a federal system of government, the states and national government both enjoy some autonomy, with sovereign power formally divided between the national government and the States such that each State retains some degree of control over its internal affairs. Olayinka, who was flanked by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Idowu Adelusi said: “Few days ago, when Governor Ayodele Fayose was reliably informed that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that he should be banned from traveling outside Nigeria, he simply took the information as mere rumour, concluding that disrespect for the constitution of Nigeria and Buhari’s dictatorship would not be extended to the most ridiculous level of preventing a governor elected just as the president from traveling out of the country.
“The thinking of Governor Fayose was that even though the Buhari’s presidency was capable of even attempting to prevent those opposed to the President from breathing the air, it must still be sane enough to be conscious of the consequences of placing any Nigerian under travel ban without an order of the court, not to talk of a sitting governor that enjoys constitutional immunity like the President.