By Fumnanya Ojugbana, Lagos
A coalition of civil society groups, friends, concerned Lagosians and well-wishers of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, under the aegis of Lagos Peoples’ Assembly (LPA) on Tuesday, stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly demanding the immediate stoppage of purported moves by the Assembly to impeach the governor.
Carrying placards and banners with different inscriptions like: “Ambode is a performing governor, we reject impeachment”, “Lagosians love Ambode for his good works”, “Let there be a smooth transition”, “Enough of intimidation of Ambode”, Lagos APC should be careful, election is around the corner”, “We say no to impeachment,” among others, they called for a smooth transition in the state.
Declan Ihekaire, the LPA leader, said: “We are not here to protest, we are here to show solidarity to Ambode and the entire Lagos Assembly that there is no basis for wanting to impeach His Excellency, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at this point in time.
“He is still a loyal party man and for that, he deserves no impeachment. Moreover, we are very close to electioneering period, we don’t want a situation where the opposition will capitalise and take over Lagos State.”
Ihekaire added that “We believe a synergy of Ambode, Sanwo-Olu and the House of Assembly will make a better Lagos.
“A division in the House will bring a break in the relationship. Lagosians are watching and Nigerians are watching, we call on both the governor and Assembly to sheathe their swords and rather concentrate on the dire need to complete all the on-going infrastructural projects in the state”.
Referring to the letter, which the group delivered to the Assembly, Ihekaire said: “What we are saying in that letter is that they should please let Ambode be.
“As far as we are concerned, we saw branded buses donated by Ambode to the party; we saw branded T-Shirts donated to Sanwo-Olu campaign group by Ambode, we have watched Ambode make statements to say please go for my brother Sanwo-Olu and we are saying that oneness should not be scattered”, Ihekaire said.
Addressing the protesters on behalf of Mudashiru Obasa, Speaker of the Assembly, Sanai Agunbiade, the Majority Leader, who also received the protest letter from the group, commended them for their peaceful conduct, saying that democracy is all about protest.
“You put us here to do some jobs, which we are doing to the best of our ability. You have a right to tell us how you feel about what we are doing”, he said, assuring them that there was no trouble or crisis in Lagos.
He assured them that their letter would be presented to the whole House “as you have confidence in us, so we have confidence in you”, Agunbiade said.
Answering questions from reporters, Agunbiade said he appreciated the peaceful way they came to the Assembly, “it is democracy, people must be involved in governance.
“It is our responsibility to make sure that we make laws and do other oversight functions and other things enshrined in the constitution; but the people also have a right to observe what we are doing and offer their opinion and their position and that is what they have done and we are going to look into the letter.