The APC spoke in reaction to a recent arrest and detention of Mrs. Waye Oso, President, Ekiti State Market Women Association by the police, a decision that was allegedly masterminded by Fayose.
Osho was arrested on Monday evening in her Akute home on an allegation that she allocated land for market stalls at the Awedele area of Ado Ekiti to some women, extorting N93m from them in the process.
The APC, which alleged that the police were acting on the orders of Governor Fayose, described the act as “impunity taken too far.”
It further alleged that the arrest of the woman, who is also the Iyaloja of Ado Ekiti, was a continuation of the clampdown on influential individuals who refused to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, some traders at the Erekesan Market, Ado Ekiti, on Tuesday protested at the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, alleging that they paid N19,000 each to Osho without being allocated spaces at the Awedele Market.
Mrs. Joke Aduloju, a cloth seller at the market who spoke on behalf of the aggrieved market women, called on the government to address the issue.
She said, “Traders in all the units in the market including pepper sellers, sellers of dresses, shoe sellers and many others paid the money. But it was regrettable that some have yet to be allocated spaces.”
In reaction to Fayose’s actions, Taiwo Olatubosun, the state Publicity Secretary of the APC, in a statement on Tuesday expressed concern over the governor’s relentless humiliation of the market women leader over the years.
Olatubosun said the governor had been in a running battle with the woman for being sympathetic to the erstwhile APC government.
He said that the allegation raised against Osho was untrue because the land in question belonged to the Odu’a Investment Company which operated as an independent entity.
The Publicity Secretary said, “Former Governor Kayode Fayemi established a private partnership scheme with the Odu’a Investment Company Ltd that would empower vulnerable women and youths in the state.
“Fayemi directed the Ekiti Enterprise Development Agency with Seyi Ayeleso as the Director-General to help Ekiti women get a place within the Odu’a complex in Ado Ekiti. This land belongs to the Odu’a Investment Company Limited. He wrote to Odu’a asking for their approval and it was granted.
“Odu’a and the women signed an agreement for a 25-year lease to the market women at no cost to them but they would only pay N3,000 per shop to Odu’a on completion. All documents giving details of the above are still in EEDA office for verification.”
Olatunbosun expressed surprise at the manipulation of these facts to give an impression that Osho had committed a crime, saying the government had no business with the Awedele market.
He added that this was the second time in the last three months that the market women leader would be harassed by the governor who “has vowed to make life difficult for her until she openly pledges loyalty to the ruling party.”
Ekiti gets N2.1bn due fund, not bailout – Fayose
Ekiti Governor Fayose on Tuesday said the N2.1 billion accrued to Ekiti State from the N413.7 billion ($2.1bn) dividend and tax paid by Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) to Federal Government was not a bailout to the state.
According to him, it is a legitimate earning to Ekiti State as one of the federating units in the country.
The governor, while debunking the insinuation at a press briefing in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, said it was necessary to correct the erroneous impression created by some newspaper reports that listed the state among those that got bailout from the Federal Government.
The governor, who said the N2.1 billion expected could not pay the N2.6 billion monthly wage bill for June, however, assured workers in the state that he would strive to raise the balance to ensure payment of June salary next week.
“For the N2.1 billion that is to be given to Ekiti, I want to make sure that I do not leave any gap. Our wage bill is about N2.6 billion. I will find means to add to it to pay June salary within the next one week,” he said.
The governor, who said his administration had not engaged in borrowing since it assumed office, assured that he would not renege on his determination to ensure the people lead meaningful lives.
By Patrick Aigbokhan