Days to the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti state, the state governor, Ayodele Fayose, has wept publicly, claiming that policemen slapped him and shot teargas canisters on a crowd of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, supporters who were gathering in front of Government House, Ado Ekiti, for an address by him.
“I was slapped and beaten by mobile policemen in my own state. They shot at me. As I speak with you, I am in severe pains. How can a state governor be treated like this?” the governor told members of his party at the Government House on Wednesday.
Fayose, who appeared in a cervical collar, claimed to have sustained injury on his neck from alleged battery on the order of a Commissioner of Police in charge of MOPOL Unit.
Fayose and his deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, who had earlier addressed PDP members at the Government House, said they were hit with the butt of guns, leading to the injury the governor sustained on his neck.
Recounting his ordeal before party members who had earlier been dispersed by policemen in front of the Government House where they had converged for a rally, the governor wept profusely as he said, “I was slapped and beaten by mobile policemen in my own state. They shot at me. As I speak with you, I am in severe pains, I am experiencing pains. I will go back to the hospital after addressing you for further medical treatment.
“In the last few days, they have arrested PDP members, teachers, and civil servants. People of good conscience should come and save Ekiti.”
“I plead with the international community to intervene; Nigeria is in trouble, Ekiti is in crisis. In the last few days, they have arrested PDP members, teachers, and civil servants. People of good conscience should come and save Ekiti.
“They said they were under strict instruction from the Presidency to kill me and my deputy, who is the candidate of our party.
“This is an army of occupation who are here to occupy our land. I want you to stand and remain standing; I pray they don’t kill me and put Ekiti in crisis.
“I plead with the international community to intervene and save Ekiti from this siege. How can a state governor be treated like this in his own state?
“I am passing though these pains because of my people. I will go back to the hospital after addressing you to receive further medical treatment.’’
Also speaking, the deputy governor of Ekiti state and candidate for Saturday’s election, Prof. Olusola Eleka, who had earlier addressed the crowd before Fayose’s arrival, said Ekiti is under siege because APC is desperate to take over the state.
“A situation where a policeman will slap a sitting governor, this is not good. The President must be warned, international community should warn President Buhari.
“When they were beating me and Mr. Governor, I told the Commissioner of Police in charge of MOPOL unit that you are beating a deputy governor, he told me ‘who is a deputy governor, the same thing he said to the governor.
“My mandate is a divine one and the army that is with us are more than those with them. We are not going to be intimidated. We shall go to the election on Saturday and win,’’ he said.
Olusola said several cases determined by the Supreme Court which confirmed that political parties need not get approval to embark on campaign.
On her part, the senator representing Ekiti South, Mrs. Biodun Olujimi, said the federal government should call the police to order, adding that Ekiti people would never resort to violence in spite of the intimidation and harassment of PDP supporters.
But the police in a swift reaction to Fayose’s claim, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Operations, Mr. Habila Joshak, stated that the governor was play-acting, stressing that Fayose’s claims was the normal antics of politicians who play to the gallery.
He explained that the alleged blockade of the Government House was not intended to ridicule the governor.
Joshak pointed out that due approval for the event was not obtained by the party from the Police, adding that the Police would not undermine the governor and any citizen of the state but that approval must be given before any political rally could hold.
“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 a law enforcement agency, we must be proactive and take actions that can prevent crisis rather than trying to quell it after it might have broken out,” the DIG said.