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Group to Lagosians: Rise, defend Ambode from being impeached

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A civil society group on Thursday pleaded with the Lagos State House of Assembly to stop its threat to impeach the out-going Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode.

Ambode has been in political hot water after allegedly falling out with Mr Bola Tinubu, a stalwart of the APC, who is also acclaimed as Ambode’s political godfather.

“We received with trepidation and amazement, the recent impeachment threat on Gov. Ambode by the Lagos State House of Assembly on the premise that he failed to lay the 2019 budget,’’ the Vote For Service Initiative group, told political correspondents in Ikeja on Thursday.

The leader of the group, Mr Adeola Ilori, said that the impeachment plot was political rather than constitutional.

“We are of the opinion that the perceived infractions of the governor cannot be equated to mean gross misconduct.

“The house should not hide under laying of budget to impeach the governor.

“This negative trajectory voyage embarked on by members of the state assembly should be suspended forthwith and they should find an amicable way to resolve their differences,” said Ilori.

He argued that the impeachment threat could throw the state into chaos and that it was capable of allowing the future of the state to be filtered away.

“We want the legislators to be more proactive and to concentrate on how to deliver the dividends of democracy to the good people of Lagos State.

“We call on all well-meaning Lagosians and elders to as a matter of urgency prevail on the legislators to stop insinuations and subtle threats of impeachment against the governor of the state.

“This has to be done in the interest of their party as well as not to heat up the polity because the death of a mad man will definitely reveal that he is of a noble family.’’

Ilori, a legal practitioner, argued further that the constitution allowed the governor to spend from the budget even before it could be approved.

Another member of the group, Mr Alex Omotehinse, also urged Lagos residents to rise up to defend the governor from being impeached.

“What we are after is peaceful environment. Leaders of APC should allow reasoning and wade in because the backlash will be so terrible.

“We don’t want unrest to happen in Lagos because anything that affects Lagos will affect the entire country. We call on the two parties to do the needful.

“The leadership of the APC should intervene.

“The lawmakers should look at the issue critically in the interest of the people of Lagos, “Omotehinse, who is the Lagos State Chairman of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, said.

On Jan. 28, the house threatened to commence impeachment proceedings against Ambode, citing financial infractions in the 2018 budget and the yet-to-be-laid 2019 Appropriation Bill.

The house summoned the governor and some commissioners in the state to appear before it within seven days to defend themselves.

The lawmakers warned that if they failed to show up, gathering of signatures for the governor’s impeachment would commence.

During plenary on Monday, the lawmakers took turns to condemn the governor, with some of them asking him to resign forthwith.