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Protesters disrupt Lagos Assembly activities over Ambode’s planned impeachment 

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Scores of protesters on Wednesday stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly, warning the lawmakers to immediately shelve any plan to impeach the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.

They argued that the lawmakers’ action was basically to witch-hunt the governor who they described has within last three years achieved more than any other governor in the country.

The protest came barely two days after the lawmakers threatened to impeach Ambode if he fails to explain reasons for his alleged financial misappropriation within seven days.

It would be recalled that the over 36 lawmakers at the plenary on Monday argued that the Governor’s action, which includes spending without recourse to the House and other sundry allegations, violates the 1999 constitution.

The protesters under the aegis of Lagos Peoples’ Assembly, barricaded the State House of Assembly with their placards, expressing their dissatisfaction over the lawmakers action against the governor.

Their placards reads: He is a performing governor, we reject impeachment; Lagos APC should be careful, election is around the corner; Lagosians love Ambode for his good works; We say no to impeachment of the governor and Enough of this intimidation of Ambode.

The protesters in a letter handed over to the lawmakers stressed that they were concerns by the actions of the lawmakers against a governor that has considered the plights of residents as priority.

In the letter signed by Declan Ihekaire, stated that the lawmakers and the executive were partners in business of governance, saying, they must work seamlessly for development of Lagos.

“Our credible investigation revealed that both arms of government are worried that the budget delay would invariably affect the ability of the government to complete various infrastructural projects commenced by the administration littering the state.

“The fear of both parties which is well founded is that opposition would make case of the uncompleted projects as campaign items to disparage the ruling party in forthcoming general elections.

“No matter whatever other hidden factors, this is the main bone of contention leading to the political feud for supremacy between the governor and the assembly,” he added.

The chairman warned that the ongoing impasse if not ended urgently, would act as setbacks for Lagos and could become another campaign slogan ahead forthcoming election.

“As far as we are concerned, if the two tiers of government are determined to ensure that the welfare of the people is the supreme law of governance, then, it should be convenient to find a common ground to resolve any ensuing misunderstanding.

“However, if this impasse is allowed to fester into huge political conflagration, the state and the residents would be the victims of such conflict. Besides, the fact that general election is fast approaching, mischievous detractors of both sides would not hesitate to gain maximum personal aggrandizement from the conflict.

“A situation that has potential to disrupt the state tradition of seamless transition of power and undermine it’s social and economic geometric pace of development.

“We therefore on behalf of the good people of Lagos state, call on both the governor and assembly to shield their swords and concentrate on the dire need to complete all the ongoing infrastructural projects in the state.

“The peace, sustainable development of Lagos and welfare of Lagosians should be the primary, sole and fundamental concern of both elected arms as well as officers of the state.”

Addressing the protesters, majority leader, Sanai Agunbiade, stated that their opinion would be deliberated upon on the floor of the House because the lawmakers were elected by the people.

Agunbiade, who led three other lawmakers to receive the protesters, stressed that there was never any face-off between the executive led by the governor and lawmakers, saying, we are only doing our responsibility as stipulated in 1999 constitution.

“We appreciate the peaceful way they have comported themselves. It is our responsibility to make laws and do other oversight functions as enshrined in the constitution.

“But the people also have the right to observe what we are doing and offer their opinion. We see it as what they have done. We have the mandate of the House to receive any letter from anyone that feels he is not satisfied with the action of the lawmakers or wants the house to legislate on an issue,” the lawmaker added.

According to him, the lawmakers here cannot fully reply to their demands because we are only four. We will report their opinion to the House and deliberate on it.

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