…Says Police will withdraw Fayose, Fayemi security
…Its a coup -PDP
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Operations, Mr. Habilal Joshak, has explained the reason behind the sealing off of the campaign venue organised by Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose to drum support for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Prof. Kolapo Olusola Eleka, from where the supporters planned to stage what they called ‘Victory Walk’ round a part of the capital city in anticipation of victory in the July 14 poll in the state.
Joshak explained that due approval for the event was not secured by the PDP from the police, adding that the police would not undermine the governor and any citizen of the state but that approval must be secured before any political rally could hold.
Joshak, who addressed newsmen on the conduct of the force in the forthcoming poll at the Police Headquarters, also declared that the security details of Very Important Personalities (VIPs) in Ekiti will be withdrawn on Saturday to add to the credibility of the Ekiti governorship election holding on July 14.
The DIG, who described the PDP’s planned walk as rally, said: “We are not here to usurp the authority of Governor Fayose. We are not here to rubbish him because he represents the people.
“But we are not going to allow any unauthorized rally that can trigger violence in the state. You can see that the state is tensed up.
“As law enforcement agents, we must be proactive and take actions that can prevent crisis rather than trying to quell it after it might have broken out”.
The police boss added that no party will be allowed to hold any political rally not approved by the police until the election is held.
Joshak said he will work with one Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Mr. H.H. Karma and three other Commissioners of Police – Ali Janga, J.B. Kokumo and G.B. Umar, who will man each of the senatorial districts in the state.
Joshak said they have contacted security details of Governor Fayose and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Kayode Fayemi and other top government officials to report at 6am at the Police headquarters in Ado Ekiti on Saturday.
“We won’t allow anybody to go to the polling booth with armed men, this is a breach of the Electoral Act.
“We have contacted them and they have to be here before election commences. This election must not be compromised. They will be documented and whoever defies this will be sanctioned, because they have been contacted”, he warned.
He said the Government House has not been blocked, clarifying that policemen only blocked the road from Fajuyi to the State Secretariat.
Armed policemen on Wednesday morning sealed off Ekiti Government House and prevented supporters of Governor Ayo Fayose from entering.
A rally scheduled to take place at the new Pavilion located at Fajuyi, which was within the vicinity of the Government house was botched as policemen teargassed the participants.
The policemen were shooting sporadically into the air as they dispersed the PDP members who were called by Fayose for a rally to rally drum for the PDP candidate in the election, Prof. Kolapo Olusola.
The PDP members had massed at the new pavilion when policemen swopped on them and dispersed.
Those affected fled in different directions to prevent being arrested by police.
A close aide to Governor Fayose called Abiola Omolade was arrested at Fajuyi area and he is now being detained at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) section at the Police Headquarters in Ado Ekiti.
Journalists sighted him as he was being dragged by the police to the CID section.
The dispersed PDP members, who escaped into the Government House, were said to have been trailed by policemen and chased out.
Meanwhile, Governor Fayose was said to have been teargassed by the police while trying to stop the police from dispersing the rally in Ado Ekiti.
The Deputy Governor, who doubles as the PDP candidate for Saturday poll, Prof. Eleka, said: “As I speak with you now, Governor Fayose is unconscious”.
Eleka alleged further that “Fayose was slapped by a policeman, it was an assassination attempt on the governor”.
Fayose, who later appeared on a neck brace to speak with his people who had gathered in Government House, Ado Ekiti, said: “It was an attempt to assassinate me. I was slapped by a policeman who kicked me and shouted at me, but I want you to be strong and be of great courage, do not be discouraged, this battle must be won.
“They have come to occupy our land, this is not our democracy. I pray that they will not cause 1883 in Ekiti. I call on the international communities and relevant agencies, Ekiti is under seige. How can l be a governor of Ekiti State and be manhandled like this?
Meanwhile, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday described as an attack on democracy the Wednesday’s onslaught by security agents on the Ekiti State Government House and rough handling of Governor Fayose.
The PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, who addressed a press conference in Abuja, said what happened in Ekiti State yesterday was a civilian coup which has brought the nation’s democracy to its knee.
“This morning, in its desperation to forcefully take over Ekiti State, the APC-led Federal Government deployed armed police personnel led by one Compol Mopol Echel Echel, who blocked the Ekiti State Government House, attacked and placed the democratically elected governor of Ekiti State, Governor Ayodele Fayose, under house arrest. At the moment, no one goes in or out of the government house.
“The invading police squad sacked the official security at the Government House, fired sporadically into the premises during which Governor Fayose was beaten up by Policemen and brought down by volleys of teargas while several others were injured.’’
Also, a chieftain of the party and former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar said such an attack was uncivil assault on democracy and falls short of democratic best practices.
“Free, fair and credible elections are not a privilege. They are a right! The peaceful congregating of the good people of Ekiti State, be they members of the All Progressive Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party or of any other party, must be allowed by the Federal Government”.
Atiku observed that it is not in the place of government to harass, intimidate, hound and humiliate political opponents in an election. What government should do is to provide a level playing ground and guarantee the security of the electorate and the principal political actors in the election.
“The immunity that a president enjoys under the constitution is the same immunity being enjoyed by a state government, thus it is an aberration to democratic norms and practices in a federal system of government that one layer of government should muscle out another government on account of political differences. The democracy and fundamental human rights that Nigerians enjoy today was earned at a very high price.”
The former Vice President however admonished the Federal Government to do everything within its powers to douse the tension being generated over the governorship election in Ekiti State.