Why Fayose Cancelled Independence Fair
Ado-Ekiti—Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state yesterday cancelled all forms of fare as well as parades usually held on Independence Days.
Giving his reason for the action, Fayose in a broadcast said there was nothing to celebrate in view of the economic situation in the country.
“I do not think it is proper to engage in jamboree when it is becoming increasingly difficult to pay workers salaries.
“The current situation demands sober reflection from all and we cannot pretend about this,” Fayose said.
He ordered residents to stay at home and enjoy the celebration in low-key.
As a result of the governor’s order, the usual activities associated with the celebration were absent in most parts of Ado-Ekiti yesterday.
However, there were few places where pockets of activities were organised by individuals or corporate bodies.
Meantime, Ekiti State Students under the aegis of the Federation of Ekiti State Students Union, FESSU, and the National Association of Nigeria Students, NANS, yesterday protested against the scrapping of free education in the state by the administration.
As early as 8.30 am the placard-carrying students, who were mobilized from the state-owned tertiary institutions, poured into the streets of Ado Ekiti chanting songs denouncing the alleged government’s poor attitude to education.
The angry students marched from Ajilosun, stopping at various junctions where they addressed members of the public on their grievances saying they would be forced to continue the protest until Fayose accedes to their demands.
The march caused a huge traffic snarl at Ijigbo roundabout with some officers of the Department of State Services, DSS, on hand to prevent hoodlums from hijacking the protest.
Some of the students’ placards read: ”Ekiti Students Pass Vote of No Confidence on Fayose”, “Primary/Secondary Education Must Be Free In Ekiti”, “Ekiti Bursary, Nothing But A Scam”, “Blackout in Ekiti State University”, “College of Education, Ikere Ekiti Fees Must Be Reduced”, “No To N50,000 Acceptance Fee at College of Health Technology, Ijero”, “Don’t Stop Payment of WAEC Fees for Poor Students”, “We Reject Exclusion From Education Summit”, among others.
Addressing reporters during the protest, FESSU National President, Peter Obayemi, said that students no longer have access to bursary from the state government accusing officials of the Scholarship Board of underhand dealings.
Obayemi revealed that he was allegedly detained on the orders of the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kolapo Olusola, over his agitation for the payment of bursary to Ekiti students at the State Scholarship Board.
He said the student bodies would no longer tolerate intimidation by any government official no matter how highly placed, saying the Fayose administration had declared war on students by its actions.
APC kicks over SIEC composition
Meantime, the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state has taken the governor and State Independent Electoral Commission, SIEC, to court over composition of the electoral body.
In a suit filed by its counsel, Abiodun Fasakin and Tajudeen Akingbolu, the party said the composition of the electoral body contradicted the constitutional requirement for a non-partisan electoral body that could organise credible elections that would be acceptable to all contesting parties.
In the originating summons before the State High Court, Ado-Ekiti, the defendants are to appear before the court within seven days after service of the summons on them.
Commenting on the development, the party’s state publicity secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, alleged that members of the electoral body as constituted by the governor is composed of card-carrying members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, noting that such action was illegal and invitation to chaos inherent in the electoral umpire providing support for a contesting party to the detriment of others.