[NIGERIA]: Assassination Fears Grip Politicians In South Western Ekiti State

Politicians in Ekiti State are worried that more assassinations might take place in the state following the killing of a former Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Omolafe Aderiye, on Thursday.

 Aderiye, a stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party and a supporter of the state’s incoming governor, Ayo Fayose, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, Ekiti State.

His assassination had been preceded by the disruption of the sitting of the state election petitions tribunal by thugs believed to be working for Mr. Fayose.
 A day after his assassination, on Friday, the dispute between members of two parties took a turn for the worse when suspected thugs went round the capital setting buildings and vehicles ablaze.

To avert further bloodshed, the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, quickly declared a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the state on Friday. In a live broadcast in Ado-Ekiti on Friday, Fayemi said there would be no movement between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. every day till further notice.

However, politicians in the state, who spoke to reporters on Friday, expressed fears that Aderiye’s murder might be a sign of things to come.

According to them, the state has a history of political killings and if the outbreak of violence was not quickly nipped in the bud, there may be a repeat of past violent incidents.

Some of the high profile assassinations that had taken place in the state in the past included the killings of a World Bank consultant, Dr. Ayodeji Daramola; an Assistant General Manager, Finance and Administration of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria in Kaduna State, Mr. Kehinde Fasuba; Mr. Tunde Omojola, Mrs. Eunice Omojola and Mr. Yemi Oni.

The state Chairman of the APC, Mr. Jide Awe, told reporters that he had not been to the party secretariat because he was afraid of being attacked.

“Already tension has been created in the state and people have to look for safety. When there is tension, you have to look for safety. I have not been to the party secretariat since Aderiye was killed. I cannot go there without police protection,” he said.

Similarly, the Director General of Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation, Mr. Dipo Anisulowo, said politicians were not safe in the state.

“Politicians are not safe. We expect things to change for better, let the outgoing governor do things the right way as soon as he can,” he said.

Some of the other politicians who expressed concerns included a former Deputy Governor of the state, Mr. Abiodun Aluko, who called on security agencies in the state to beef up security before the crisis further degenerated.

Aluko, who contested the PDP ticket for the June governorship poll in the state, said the people of the state were worried about Adeyeri’s killing.

“Those affected now may want to retaliate and this would worsen the situation. That is why we are calling on security agents to be alive to their duties. The state must not be allowed to be thrown into anarchy,” he said.

Similarly, the Chairman of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties, Mr. Tunji Ogunlola, when contacted also said that the people of the state were afraid.

He said, “With this now, nobody is safe. The only thing I can say is to appeal to the two parties to allow peace to reign in the state.

“Everybody concerned should put the interest of the state and its people at heart. We must desist from actions capable of causing further problem in the state.”

The governorship candidate of the Accord Party, Mr. Kole Ajayi, also expressed fears about the future of the state should the crisis continue unchecked.

He said, “It is quite unfortunate that we have found ourselves in this kind of situation again. Lives are being wasted and we must act fast to stop it.

“Human lives are sacred. When violence is becoming uncontrollable; it can lead to a total breakdown of law and order. As stakeholders all of us must see ourselves as one people. We are brothers and we should stop this mindless killing.”

Also, Senator Ayo Arise said all politicians in the state found Aderiye’s muder worrisome. He said, “Anything that involves loss of lives get me worried. All politicians in the state are worried about the situation. It is very unfortunate. I see no reason why people should begin to kill one another because of politics. I hope there will be no repeat of such.”

When asked what the Nigeria Police Force headquarters was doing to contain the situation in Ekiti, the Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, said the situation had been brought under control.

According to him, the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed on the state has brought the crisis under control. He also stated that nobody would be invited by the Police High Command.

“We won’t intervene in the state because the situation there is under control. The commissioner of police is able to handle the situation and he has brought everything under control,” he said.

When reporters sought the comment of the Ekiti State Police Command on the matter, the Public Relations Officer, Mr. Victor Babayemi, said the command was keeping an eye on turbulent areas in Ado-Ekiti, capital of the state.

Babayemi added that it would be difficult to arrest the Governor-elect, Ayodele Fayose, because there was no substantial evidence connecting him with the violence in the state.

He, however, stated that no one was above the law in the state.

“Because of the seriousness of the situation on ground, we cannot invite or arrest the governor-elect without substantial evidence. We must have substantive evidence to arrest any suspect. But, one thing is certain, the state is greater than anybody and no one is above the law.

“We’re talking to a lot of people. Right now, we can’t reveal the identity of the people we’re interrogating. This is because revealing their identity can jeopardise our investigations,” the police spokesman said.

When asked if the command would ask for reinforcement from Abuja, Babayemi said there was no immediate need for assistance from Abuja but noted that such request would be made if necessary.

Source: The Punch
Politics 1038967997431411960

Post a Comment Default Comments Disqus Comments


Home item

Popular Posts

Get Updates in your Inbox

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner