John Abiodun, Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has said he was aware that Ekiti State could be the main target of the ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ of the army.
The army has said the operation would be launched in the Southwest and South South regions as soon as it is through with ongoing Operation Python Dance in the Southeast.
But Fayose, who, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications, Lere Olayinka, queried what security threat was being witnessed in the Southwest to warrant a major military operation, said Ekiti could be the target.
The governor faulted what he described as militarization of the country and unnecessary killing of Nigerians.
He described those listing him as one of the sponsors of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as “people who have put themselves in political bondage and have allowed what they will eat to becloud their sense of normal reasoning”, declaring that no amount of blackmail will stop him from expressing his mind against the All Progressives Congress (APC) government’s disrespect for the constitutional rights of Nigerians.
Governor Fayose, who said he was not surprised that the APC in Ekiti State raised the ridiculous allegation, added that the same APC people took side with Fulani herdsmen when they killed people in Oke-Ako, Ekiti State and destroyed farmlands worth several millions of naira in the State.
Fayose said he was not among those Nigerians that could be cowed by anyone, asking: “Now that the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has come out to openly say that categorization of IPOB as a ‘terrorist organisation’ by the military is unconstitutional, is the APC also going to accuse him of sponsoring IPOB?”
“If because I spoke against the wanton killings carried out by the military in the Southeast, the APC is saying that I’m funding IPOB, was I the one funding the people of Southern Kaduna when I condemned the killings there?
“Was I funding the Agatus in Benue State when I condemned their killings by Fulani herdsmen? Was I funding the Shiite Muslims when I condemned the killings of El-Zakzaky followers in Zaria and his continued detention?
“Mine is a mission for a Nigeria where no one will be treated like a second class citizen and we can only achieve that if we have leaders that will not be a champion of nepotism like President Buhari.
“It is on record that on June 10, 2013, it was widely reported in the media that the current Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who was the National Publicity Secretary of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) said that the proscription of Boko Haram was against the constitution, that it stifled the press and tampered with the fundamental human rights of Nigerians.
“It is also on record that in June 2013, President Buhari told the Federal Government to stop the clampdown of Boko Haram insurgents, accusing the government of killing and destroying houses belonging to Boko Haram members while the Niger Delta militants were giving special treatment”.
Fayose queried:“Should we now say that Lai Mohammed and President Buhari sponsored Boko Haram because they spoke against the Federal Government’s clampdown on the insurgents then?”