The Nigeria Police Force has admitted that its forceful dispersal of supporters of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that gathered in front of Government House, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State on Wednesday for an address by the state Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, was a mistake, pledging that it would not be allowed to happen again.
A crowd of PDP supporters awaiting the address of Fayose, prior to a victory rally slated for the campaign headquarters of the PDP governorship candidate, Prof. Olusola Eleka, around Fajuyi area of the capital city, were dispersed by the police, using tear gas.
The state governor eventually shown up at the rally wearing a cervical collar, weeping publicly and claiming that he had been tear-gassed and rough-handled by policemen who slapped and hit him with the butt of their guns.
He said he had been to the hospital for treatment and that in spite of that, was in pains, warning that if anything happened to him, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris should be held responsible.
Following mounting criticisms that have been trailing the action of the police, Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG, Habilal Joshak said on the state-owned Ekiti State Broadcasting Corporation, Television Service in Ado-Ekiti, “I want to assure the good people of Ekiti State that such mistake will never repeat itself”.
Speaking yesterday, he stated that contrary to widespread belief, he did not order his men and officers to use teargas on the crowd.
Joshak explained: “What I said was that those massing for the rally should be asked to leave because it is not good going by the mood of the state now to hold rally or street procession. I didn’t say they should use force.
“This is an election, and electioneering is a civil matter anywhere across the globe. So, police as security agents can’t use force on the people.
“But I want to assure the good people of Ekiti State that such mistake will never repeat itself.”