APC Wants Rights Commission To Investigate Fayose Over Political Violence In Ekiti
THE Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has petitioned the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) alleging the state governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, was sponsoring political violence in the state.
In a letter dated February 16, this year, and titled ‘In the Matter of State Sponsored Pre -Election Violence in Ekiti State’, the party warned that if the conduct of the governor were not checked “the forthcoming elections in Ekiti State will witness high incidence of political violence with attendant loss of lives and destruction of properties.”
Its counsel, Mr. Omotosho Ayodele, signed the letter. It was copied to the European Union Observers Group, Embassy of the United States of America, The British Embassy, The French Embassy, Secretary of States, United States of America/USIS, Nigerian Bar Association, Egbe Igbimo Ure Ekiti and Yoruba Council of Elders, among others.
Specifically, the party requested the NHRC to investigate the role of Fayose in the use of thugs to physically attack and intimidate opposition personalities.
APC said: “We note the pre-election advisory on violence published by the NHRC and in furtherance of its stated commitment to investigate, identify and prosecute perpetrators of electoral violence, we invite the NHRC to take notice of and investigate the following acts of Mr. Fayose and his supporters with a view to determining if these constitute conducts promoting election violence.
“On January 19, 2015, Mr. Fayose during one of his campaigns in Emure Local Council of Ekiti State told his supporters repeatedly, ‘we are in power! I am not one of those who have power and don’t know how to use it. PDP will not lose any seat in this state. It is going to be a do-o-die affair or a zero sum game’.”
The party, which catalogued many assaults on its members allegedly sponsored by Fayose, urged the NHRC to investigate the conduct of security agencies in Ekiti State with a view to determining their professionalism, even-handedness and non-partisanship.
“More worrisome is our finding that police officers are actively involved in committing these acts of violence. It is a matter of concern to us that despite reporting these incidents to the police, few arrests and virtually no prosecution have been undertaken. We had previously expressed concern that several of the policemen who formed the nucleus of what was severally described as Fayose’s killer squad in Ekiti State between 2003 and 2006 when he was first elected the governor are back in his employ,” APC added.
APC further alleged: “On January 21 2015, Mr. Fayose’s thugs and members of Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) dressed in Army and Police uniforms, backed by policemen attached to the Government House ransacked and vandalised APC secretariat on Ajilosun Street, Ado- Ekiti. Messrs. Alaba Ojo and Adedokun Dare, the night guards on duty at the secretariat at the time of the incident were physically assaulted and sustained varying decrees of injuries. These persons had earlier visited several parts of the state shooting and destroying the posters of opposition candidates.
“On January 24, 2015, Mr. Adeleke Samson (a students’ union leader) who attended the APC presidential rally in Ado- Ekiti with his colleagues was violently attacked by Mr. Fayose’s thugs. He sustained life-threatening injuries on his head.
“On January 20, 2015, Mr. Ojo Agboola, Mr. Femi Babalola, Mrs. Babalola, Mr. Bello Idowu and Mr. Tope Oguntoyinbo were physically assaulted by Fayose’s thugs at various locations in Ado-Ekiti for either wearing APC T-Shirts and pasting APC posters in their houses.
“On January 23, 2015, Mr. Fayose’s thugs disrupted APC ward meetings in Iyin and Igede- Ekiti. They had previously conducted a house-to-house raid and assaulted APC members. Specifically, the thugs attempted the life of the APC senatorial candidate for Ekiti Central Senatorial District, Mr. Gbenga Olofin, who narrowly escaped.”
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