The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday in Abuja, Imo, Anambra, Nasarawa and other states across the country protested against the alleged assault on the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, by the police on Wednesday.
In Abuja, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, led the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to the National Assembly to protest against the alleged assault by men of the Nigeria Police on the Gov. Fayose.
Secondus and the members were stopped by security officials at the entrance of the gate.
Also at the protest, which held at the main gate to the National Assembly Complex was a former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara; former Minister of Health, Prof. ABC Nwosu; a former National Woman Leader, Josephine Anenih; and former Majority Leader of the Senate, Mulikat Akande-Adeola, among others.
The protesters, who were received by Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, demanded a free, fair and credible governorship election in Ekiti on Saturday.
The protest comes after the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, broke down on Wednesday while accusing policemen of beating, shooting at him, and brutalising Peoples Democratic Party supporters in the state.
“They (the police) are beating anybody who has any sign of PDP on them. They are not picking our calls; they’ve made up their minds to do this evil.
Secondus said, “Just yesterday (Wednesday), there was a civilian coup. The Ekiti State Government House was sealed and the governor was brutalised, detained and harmed. We believe that, that was an assault on democracy. The first point of call for this peaceful demonstration is the National Assembly. We believe that we should register our protest, for the National Assembly to quickly intervene through their oversight function on the executive.
“We are aware and we have been reliably informed that INEC and a section of the security agencies are preparing to rig the election in Ekiti, that is why Ekiti today has been militarised and policed. Over 30,000 policemen are in Ekiti. The citizens of Ekiti are afraid, they are traumatised, they are harassed and they are being guarded not to come out of their homes.
“We also call on international community to see and watch what is happening in Ekiti. If this is the type of democracy and election that they tend to conduct – by the APC and INEC – it means the 2019 general election is seriously under threat; and we believe that if they continue in this manner, and if they rig the election in Ekiti, there will be nothing like 2019 elections.
“The security agencies cannot be above the law. The executive cannot be above the law. We are aware that INEC has printed result sheets, to do replacement (sic) by some security agencies.”
Responding, Ekweremadu thanked the PDP leaders for their peaceful approach to the issues in Ekiti.
He said, “We have heard you. We will make contacts with all institutions of democracy as it concerns Ekiti State. We will make contacts with INEC, police and security agencies to ensure that they are neutral.”
PDP members protest in Imo
In Imo State, the PDP members protested on the streets of Owerri ,the state capital on Thursday, to condemn the alleged manhandling of Fayose.
The PDP members who demonstrated round the metropolis, headed to the state police command headquarters where they submitted a petition addressed to the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, through the state Commissioner of Police, Dasuki Galandanchi.
Addressing the police commissioner, the PDP Chairman in the state, Charles Ezekwem ,said that the members of the party nationwide were not happy with the alleged brutality meted out to the governor.
Nasarawa PDP submits petition to police
Also, the opposition party protested in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital. Addressing the party supporters from the 13 local government areas, the state Chairman of the PDP, Mr. Francis Orogwu, expressed concern over the alleged ill-treatment of Fayose.
In a five-paragraph protest submitted to the state Commissioner of Police, Nasarawa State Command, Mr. Yahaya Bello, Orogwu said the IGP should remain neutral in the Ekiti State election and the 2019 polls.
Anambra PDP protests attack on Fayose
In Anambra State, the PDP members on Thursday took their protest to the Anambra Police Command over the alleged attack and molestation of Fayose on Wednesday by the police.
The party members who staged the peaceful protest in front of the police headquarters in Amawbia, described the attack as a threat to democracy.
The chairman of the party in the state, Ndubisi Nwobu, said the leadership of the party was at the police headquarters to express their grievances, as well as submit their letter of disapproval of the act to Idris.
Describing the police as a peacekeeping body which ought to maintain neutrality, Nwobu urged the force to caution its men and play the role of an unbiased umpire at the Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
Responding, the state Commissioner of Police, Garba Umar, assured them that their letter would get to the appropriate authorities for prompt attention.
Garba, who was represented by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Chris Afolabi, commended them for their peaceful conduct.
Ekiti attack will be replicated in Rivers – Wike
Also, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said that the action of security operatives in Ekiti State would be replicated in Rivers State and the entire country in 2019.
Wike, who spoke in Port Harcourt on Tuesday night, described the incident as a foretaste of what the Federal Government had planned for Nigeria in a bid to retain power after losing the support of Nigerians.
Wike said, “I wish to also draw the attention of the people of Rivers State to the fact that what is happening at Ekiti State is clearly a foretaste of what the APC-led Federal Government has planned to unleash on our state and indeed, the entire country, in their desperate attempt to rig 2019 general elections and retain or return to power having performed woefully and lost the support of the generality of Nigerians.”
On his part, the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, condemned the alleged attack on Fayose.
Speaking with journalists at the Government House in Uyo on Thursday, Emmanuel described the incident as a fragrant abuse of democratic process in Nigeria.
Also, a PDP presidential aspirant, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, said the alleged police attack on Fayose portended danger for the nation’s fledgling democracy.
In a statement by his spokesman, Mallam Mukhtar Sirajo in Kaduna, Makarfi said that the attack was an ominous sign ahead of the 2019 general elections. – Additional reports from Punch.