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With less than 30 days to the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti State, the state Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Jide Awe, monday alleged plans by the opposition to attack the state Government House and the party’s secretariat with explosive devices.
The party also accused the Felix Uyanna-led Police Command in the state of constituting a major opposition to the APC in the build up to the election, saying: “If not for partisanship, they could not have been watching when a serving Commissioner, Mrs. Ronke Okunsanya, was being attacked by opposition thugs in Efon Alaaye on Sunday.”
Addressing a press conference in Ado Ekiti, Awe said: “The party has it on good authority that members of opposition were planning to detonate bomb at the government house and also in our secretariat.
“We have to take extra caution. The police that would have dealt with the situation have become partisan which is highly unfortunate.”
According to the APC chieftain, the alleged partisanship of the police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has worsened the situation, alleging that the attackers of Okunsanya were allegedly sponsored by a serving Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, whom he alleged is a supporter of the state governorship candidate on the platform of People Democratic Party(PDP), Mr. Ayo Fayose.
“We never loved to resort to self-help, but this will not augur well for the nation. If the police cannot protect us, then we will resort to self-help and that will be sad. It is unfortunate that it is the federal government that has been backing them to do all these.
“Part of their plan is to announce the state election results in Abuja. The state election is a test case to what will happen in 2015. But we are determined to resist them and we shall ensure that this election is free and fair,” he said.
Awe also blamed the Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, for the violence which occurred in Ikere Ekiti between Labour Party (LP) and APC members during Hon Opeyemi Bamidele’s rally in the town, where one person was shot and several people wounded, including journalists with the African Independent Television (AIT).
Awe said: “Mimiko cannot make Ekiti a vassal State. Ekiti State will resist him at the appropriate time. We will tell Ade Basket who is the leader of thugs in Ondo State that Ekiti State cannot be their abode. We will be vigilant to protect our people against the opposition onslaught.”
But, while absolving the police of partisanship, the Ekiti State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Victor Babayemi, described the APC statement as very unfortunate, saying: “They are only trying to make the police the scapegoat and we will not tolerate that.
“We have been fair to all parties in the build up to the election but the politicians are behaving irresponsibly, so rather than blaming us, the APC must look inward and stop rubbishing the good work we are doing in the state.
“The APC members are always the first to launch attacks based on our series of investigations and they are always the one to first blow the whistle that they are under attack.”
Meanwhile, the Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation (AFCO) has described as animalistic, barbaric, and condemnable, the attack on the convoy of the PDP at Fajuyi Roundabout, Ado-Ekiti, by suspected APC thugs.
AFCO Director of Media and Publicity, Chief Gboyega Aribisogan, said in a statement yesterday that APC thugs attacked Fayose’s personal vehicle at about 1p.m. at Fajuyi Park in Ado-Ekiti, believing that the PDP candidate was in the vehicle.
Aribisogan alleged that the thugs ran into the government house immediately they carried out the attack.
While alleging that the state Governor Kayode Fayemi-led APC government had concluded plan to attack any gathering of PDP supporters in the state, the organisation spokesperson said a meeting was held on Saturday, where it was concluded that henceforth, “no PDP gatherings must be allowed in the state.”
Aribisogan said, “The rate at which law abiding residents of Ekiti State are being attacked by the APC thugs calls for serious concern, and if nothing is done urgently, anarchy looms in the state.
“On Saturday, APC thugs unleashed terror on AIT crew in Ikere-Ekiti, destroying the television station’s outside broadcasting van, camera, vehicles and other equipment.
“Today (yesterday), the thugs attacked Fayose’s personal vehicle at Fajuyi roundabout, Ado-Ekiti, thinking that he (Fayose) was in the vehicle. If our security agents fail to do something about these APC thugs now, we might not be able to restrain our supporters from defending themselves and the result will definitely be anarchy, which we don’t pray for.”
In a new development, the state government has denied the allegation that Fayemi had sent a text message to the Onitaji of Itaji and the Chairman of the Council of Traditional Rulers in the state, Oba Adamo Babalola, not to receive President Goodluck Jonathan during his intended visit to the state.
Fayose had alleged that the Fayemi-led government in the state had sent a text message to royal fathers in the state not to receive President Jonathan during his visit to the state.
However, while reacting to the allegation, the Special Adviser to the governor on Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon Aderemi Ajayi, said Fayemi did not send any message or give any directive to the Oba, since the governor is not even aware of any presidential visit to the state.
Ajayi added that the governor is not in the habit of meddling with the affairs of the Obas but as a leader who has utmost regard for the traditional institution.
“It is expected that if the President wants to visit a government institution like the Council of Traditional Rulers in the state, such arrangements must pass through the state governor,” he said.