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Ladoja’s commissioner, others attacked •Conference of Speakers rejects new Oyo speaker

Posted by Segun Olatunji on 2006/01/29 | Views: 659 |

Ladoja’s commissioner, others attacked •Conference of Speakers rejects new Oyo speaker


Some core loyalists of Senator Rasheed Ladoja, who was impeached under controversial circumstances as the Oyo State governor, have gone into hiding, following violent attacks on them by suspected supporters of his opponents in the protracted crisis in the state.

Some core loyalists of Senator Rasheed Ladoja, who was impeached under controversial circumstances as the Oyo State governor, have gone into hiding, following violent attacks on them by suspected supporters of his opponents in the protracted crisis in the state.

Among the latest victims of such physical assault are the erstwhile state Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Dr. Muftau Adejumo; the Chairman of Oyo East Local Government, Mr. Musbau Amuda and two Peoples Democratic Part (PDP) stalwarts, Princes Adeleke Adedokun and Sule Bolatito.

The development came as the Conference of State Houses of Assembly Speakers on Saturday further tightened the noose on Governor Alao Akala of Oyo State, as it vowed not to recognize the acting Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Taiwo Oluyemi.

In one of the attacks on Ladoja’s loyalists, Sunday Punch reliably gathered that at least six people, including the Chairman of Oyo East Local Government were injured on Tuesday in Ibadan by supporters of his opponent.

In the attack, most of his men reportedly sustained serious injuries from machete cuts.

On January 2, 2006, a similar assault was unleashed on Adejumo and Chief Ayoade Adewuyi, in the Akesan market in Oyo town.

Some of the victims of the lastest attack carried out in Oyo township, who craved anonymity for fear of further assaults, claimed that they could no longer sleep in the houses because of constant harassment and intimidation by anti-Ladoja forces.

A notable figure in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the area told our correspondent that some supporters of Ladoja who were injured during a recent encounter with the impeached governor’s opponent were still on sick bed in hospitals.

However, he declined to disclosed the locations of such hospitals because of fears that their opponents could invade the place to cause more havoc.

“It is only a few of his notable supporters that can still walk freely on the streets of Oyo town, because the opponents of Ladoja have resolved to deal with them. I can tell you that a couple of those that were injured during previous attacks on the governor’s supporters are still in the hospital. But I cannot tell you the locations of the hospitals because of the evil intention of those people.”

Sources said that while a few of his supporters still manage to move around especially in some parts of the town, others have chosen to go into hidding for fear of attack from the governor’s opponents.

The source added that others had fled the town and instructed members of their families to be extra vigilant either at home or when they go out.

“Some of us have left town now. For instance, Adewuyi has left town after the attack because he felt his life is no longer safe. Everybody is now being conscious of his security. In my own case, I was mercilessly beaten and my house was destroyed.

“But I have taken everything that happened in good faith. God is the only avenger. We could not go to the police to report because the police are on their (Akala’s) side. The Akala camp is boasting that it is in power now and can do and undo,” one of the victims said.

When contacted on the alleged attack, an Adedibu’s loyalist, one Hon. Shakiru Fajinmi, said those who said they were attacked based their judgement on reports in the newspapers.

“That is their own cup of tea. They are judging what is happening based on the reports in the newspapers.

“We are particularly disappointed with the Osun State Speaker, who is a lawyer. He has not deemed it fit to check the record. We are not surprised because he is a very close friend of one of the 14 lawmakers loyal to Ladoja, Mr. Azeez Alarape. They were classmates at the University of Ife.

“Where were they when their colleagues were being attacked at the Oyo State House of Assembly in July and September 15, 2005? They were applauding when the hoodlums invade the Oyo State House of Assembly.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Oyo State Command, Mr. Jonathan Johnson said, “I’m not aware of anything like that. Nobody brought such report to my knowledge.”

Speakers from the six geo-political zones of the country rose from a closed-door meeting that lasted for more than four hours in Enugu on Saturday and expressed disgust over the role of the 18 members of the Oyo Assembly in the controversial impeachment of Ladoja.

In a four-point communique signed by the Chairman of the Conference, Chief Rotimi Amiechi, who doubles as the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, the speakers declared non grata any new speaker of Oyo in their midst.

“The rule of law should be allowed to prevail in Oyo State. We will not admit into our forum any speaker not constitutionally elected, that is, the new elected Oyo Speaker will not be admitted into the forum.”

The 18 lawmakers loyal to the Ibadan-based politician, Chief Lamidi Adedibu, last Wednesday announced the removal of the speaker of the state Assembly, Hon Adeolu Adeleke.

But in solidarity with him, the speakers strongly condemned the action of the Oyo lawmakers in the lingering political crisis that had embroiled the state, culminating in public protest by civil rights activists and a strike action by civil servants.

They also called on the National Assembly to expedite action on the review of the 1999 constitution, but warned that the exercise should be done “in a way that it would reflect the opinion of majority of Nigerians”

Another controversial issue they discussed was the touted third term agenda of President Olusegun Obasanjo and resolved that “If Nigerians want it, it is okay. If they do not, the president should not try it.”

The Chairman of the Conference and Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. Rotimi Amechi, who spoke with journalists on the outcome of the meeting, explained further, “That, the only speaker that will be allowed into the conference is one constitutionally-elected; which means that all the official process of removing a speaker must be followed.”

“We are saying that the constitutional process of electing a new speaker should apply. It is only such a speaker that should attend our meetings.

“Outside that, no speaker should attend our meetings except the one that is constitutionally-elected”, he added.

Nineteen speakers attended the conference. Three others were represented.

The speakers, who attended physically were those of Ekiti, Osun, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Kaduna, Nassarawa, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger and Bauchi.

Others were those of Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Ogun, Ondo and Lagos States.

SUNDAY PUNCH, January 29, 2006

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.