Public Affairs How Obasanjo used federal might to sack governors Dariye, Fayose, Ngige, Obi,...
The Presidency on Sunday accused former president Olusegun Obasanjo of using the police and Department of State Services, DSS, to illegally remove five state governors between 1999 to 2007 when he held sway as Nigeria’s president.
President Buhari’s senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu stated on Sunday that Obasanjo’s tenure represented the dark days of Nigeria’s democracy due to lack of respect for the constitution.
In an article entitled, ‘The real price of ‘change the change’ campaign (2)’, Shehu said Obasanjo deployed federal apparatus to remove ex-governors Joshua Dariye, Rashidi Ladoja, Peter Obi, Chris Ngige and Ayo Fayose who were at the time governors of Plateau, Oyo, Anambra, Anambra and Ekiti states respectively.
Shehu gave an account of how Obasanjo allegedly perpetrated the alleged constitutional infractions, saying, “A five-man legislature met at 6:00 am and “impeached” Governor Dariye in Plateau; 18 members out of 32 removed Governor Ladoja of Oyo from office; in Anambra, APGA’s Governor Obi was equally impeached at 5:00 a.m. by members who did not meet the two-thirds required by the constitution.
“His offence was that he refused to inflate the state’s budget. The lawmakers had reportedly met with representatives of the President in Asaba, Delta State and then accompanied to Awka by heavy security provided by the police Mobile Unit. The PDP President at that time had reportedly told Obi to forget re-election in 2007 if he did not join the PDP because he (the President) would not support a non-PDP member.
“In Ekiti, Governor Fayose in his first term faced allegations of financial corruption and murder. Following the failure to heed the instruction of the presidency to impeach only Fayose and spare the deputy, Madam Olujimi, now a senator, the PDP President declared that there was a breakdown of law and order in the state and declared a state of emergency.
“He appointed Brig-Gen. Adetunji Olurin (rtd) as the sole administrator of the state on October 19, 2006. In an earlier incident in Anambra, it took an insider collaboration to thwart the unseating of Governor Ngige by a powerful thug sponsored by the PDP administration.
“The parliament at the centre seized the law-making powers of the Rivers State House of Assembly as a way to save Governor Rotimi Amaechi, the then chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum from impeachment by the PDP presidency.”
Garba Shehu after outlining these asserted that with his principal in the saddle, none of these absurdities has happened under his watch, stressing that “the PDP is indicating their boredom with his meticulous observance of the constitution by calling for a return to the old order.”