Impeachment: Pro-Ambode groups threaten Assembly shutdown

A coalition of civil society groups on Thursday accused a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, of sponsoring the plot to impeach the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.

The groups threatened to shut down the state House of Assembly if the lawmakers proceeded with the plan, which they said was anti-people.

A statement on Thursday said the groups, which gathered under the aegis of the Lagos Liberation Movement, spoke at a world press conference at the Airport Hotel, Ikeja.

The House of Assembly had on Monday threatened to commence impeachment proceedings against Ambode over alleged gross misconduct, particularly with regards to the 2019 budget of the state.

But the groups, which included the Campaign for Democracy, United Action for Democracy, Centre for Public Accountability, Democracy Volunteers, Ajegunle Collectives, Lagos People’s Assembly, Oodua Peoples’ Congress (Reformed), Yoruba Revolutionary Assembly and Ohanaeze Youth, Lagos, said the Assembly wanted to murder democracy.

The convener of the LLM, Mark Adebayo, urged Lagosians to resist the move against the governor.

He said, “The question that most Lagosians are asking is ‘why’? However, the reasons are not far-fetched; it is fundamentally the handiwork of political forces determined to keep Lagos State in the perpetual bondage of a man playing God over more than 20 million Lagosians, with a view to perpetuating a political dynasty of recklessness, and a relay regime of subjugation accentuated by a malaise of primitive accumulation of the most deadly genre, guided by Asiwaju Tinubu, we daresay.”

He said Lagosians knew that the allegations against the governor were by few persons who wanted to have “unrestricted access to the state’s treasury” for political purpose.

While alleging that the backlash against the governor was over his refusal to comply with a directive to release money for elections, Adebayo warned Ambode not to contemplate leaving the state with uncompleted projects.

“If they have internal issues in their party, that should not be allowed to negatively affect the smooth running of government and make people suffer.

“The office of the governor of Lagos State is beyond Ambode and as such, any further humiliation, disrespect and embarrassment from any quarter will be utterly resisted by the people,” Adebayo added.

Agbaje cautions lawmakers

Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State, Mr Jimi Agbaje, has cautioned members of the Assembly and the ruling All Progressives Congress not to plunge the state into chaos.

Agbaje, in a statement by his Directorate of Media and Publicity, said the move to impeach Ambode could jeopardise the smooth running of the state.

He said, “With the way Lagos politics has been structured over the last two decades, government actions are often dictated by open and covert objectives. That the legislators are hinging their action on the purported delay of the budget is simply a smokescreen for a very shameful undertone that the honourable Assembly members will not want to make open. They have yet to tell us their actual motivation for this superfluous move to shame the governor.”

The PDP candidate said with elections just a few weeks away, the timing of the planned impeachment was wrong.

He added that although the legislature reserved the right to perform oversight functions, “such a responsibility should not be abused. It should be carried out in a manner that places the citizens’ interest above any pecuniary benefit to a vested interest.”