Ex-gov Nwobodo to Fayose:-You are abusing immunity, misbehaving in office


A former governor of old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo, has hit out at Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State over his outbursts on various issues affecting the Nigerian polity.
Nwobodo, a second republic governor and former senator, accused Governor Fayose of over-stepping the bounds of the immunity conferred on him by the 1999 constitution by misbehaving in office.
Governor Fayose, who had been the lone voice of the opposition crying in the wilderness since May 29, 2015, when the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was swornin, had recently raised the alarm over the freezing of his personal bank accounts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, accusing the anti-graft agency of violating the immunity granted him by the constitution.
The Ekiti governor is known for taking on the Buhari administration on most mainof its policies and decisions, virulently criticising almost every of its moves.
But Nwobodo, in an exclusive interview with our correspondent, accused Fayose of abusing the immunity granted him by the constitution with his incessant caustic attacks on the president’s personality, policies and actions.
The elder statesman reminded the Ekiti governor that immunity does not give him the leeway to misbehave, insult or verbally abuse other state officials.
He, therefore, enjoined Fayose to stop cheapening the office of the governor and the powers given to him by minding his utterances and unchecked vituperations on both the presidency and other top government functionaries, in the name of criticism, adding that he should handle the exalted office with all the seriousness and maturity it deserved.
Nwobodo said, “I must sincerely confess that there is limit to what a governor who enjoys immunity can say or do. When as a governor you enjoy immunity, that immunity does not give you a warrant to say all sorts of things to defame and insult people as you like. It doesn’t give you licence to abuse everybody and say nobody can touch you. That means you are misusing the power.
“The power given to a governor is a very serious thing. It has to be handled with care and used with some seriousness and respect. You don’t just say everything you want to say because you have immunity, there must be a limit to everything,” he cautioned.
Nwobodo expressed the view that having immunity should not confer on Fayose the powers to start abusing everyone, including the president. “You do not start talking carelessly because you are in power. I don’t think the man understands the potency and aura of the governor’s office. It is a delicate position, and that is why they call you ‘His Excellency’. Being in that position, you are expected to lead by example, but not the way Fayose misbehaves about town. As a governor, you must show maturity in everything you do. If you curse people anyhow or you insult them, then expect that they would react. There is a limit to what you can do with your immunity.”
The former Anambra governor also chided the critics of Buhari’s anti-corruption war, saying Nigerians should rather be grateful to him for having the courage to embark on the daunting task.
He argued that without a leader like Buhari taking on the fight against corruption, which had become endemic, Nigeria would have risked a collapse under the weight of the scourge.