President Mohammadu Buhari has received a petition from the Ekiti State
All Progressives Congress, (APC) questioning the selection of human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana [image above] as the state’s possible ministerial nominee.
Irohinoodua was informed this afternoon that the petition was sent to President Muhammadu Buhari this Monday.
In the petition, some of the APC leaders argued that Mr Falana is not fit on the grounds that he is not a member of the APC in Ekiti State and that his politics is restricted to Lagos State.
Sources told Irohinoodua that the petition was at the instance of at least two former governors of the state.
“The petitioners urge President Buhari to drop Falana’s name and select another APC member from Ekiti State”, a source in the Presidency told Irohinoodua today.
The source claimed that Falana is facing opposition from two groups in Ekiti: Some APC leaders and members of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) who believe that his selection will reopen cases of atrocious crimes many of the PDP leaders may have committed in the past.
The source said the APC in Ekiti has no strong case against Falana except on the grounds of pettiness and undue rivalry.
Speculation is rife that Mr Falana is likely to be picked as the country’s Attorney General by President Buhari.
But an official of the Nigerian Human Rights Community, (NHRC) Mr Popoola Ajayi said petition against Falana is “stupid and unthinkable”.
He told Irohinoodua in a chat: “Mr Falana is an asset to Africa and a huge opportunity for Ekiti to redeem her battered image.
“Ekiti’s moral standing in Nigeria has ebbed; the selection of Falana will boost the image of the state.
“Yet, the APC in Ekiti State is factionalised. Falana is one of the strongest people that can build a new bridge of understanding within the party in the state.”
Speaking with our correspondent, Chairman of Civil Society Network against Corruption, (CSNAC), Mr Lanre Suraj said the petition against Falana is ridiculous.
He said Falana stands tall as an icon who has been involved in human rights campaign since 1982 in his days as a student at the then University of Ife.
“We can’t imagine anyone in his right senses writing a petition against Mr Falana. It’s like walking against the tide in the country,” Suraj said.
Akande Adeolu of the Oodua Nationalist Coalition, (ONAC) said the petition lacks merit.
‘President Buhari wishes to work with Nigerians who can boost the country’s global image. He wants stainless steel that can carry out the desired reforms. Mr Falana fits into this inspiring project.”
The spokesperson of the Action Group, (AG) in Ekiti State, Mr Segun Dipe said those who wrote the petition must be ‘renegades’.
He said “The Action Group is not part of that charade. It’s an attempt to pull down one of the shining stars in Ekiti.”
He said the AG will meet to consider writing a counter letter to President Buhari to ensure that the petition is thrown into the trash bin.
Falana may not be a registered member of the APC, but his leadership role in the campaign for the ouster of the PDP cannot be denied. He also contributed immensely to the defeat of the PDP at least in Osun and Lagos states.
Falana, a lawyer was called to the bar in 1983, the same year a former governor of the State, Mr Niyi Adebayo was called into the bar. Mr Adebayo became the governor of the state in 1999.