The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned Wednesday’s alleged physical attack on Gov. Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti by policemen deployed for Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Wednesday, National Chairman of PDP Mr Uche Secondus, described the incident as “a complete attack on democratic order and a direct assault on Ekiti State and her people’’.
According to him, Nigeria’s democracy has finally come under heavy attack. The police have denied that their men attacked Fayose and that what happened was that they were trying to prevent a clash of rallies in the state.
Secondus said that in the All Progressives Congress (APC) desperation to take over Ekiti, the Federal Government deployed armed police personnel led by top officers, including Commissioner of Police in charge of Mobile Unit.
He said that the police blocked the state’s Government House, attacked and placed the democratically elected governor under house arrest.
“At the moment, no one goes in or out of the Government House.
“The invading police squad sacked the official security at the Government House, fired sporadically into the premises during which Gov. Fayose was beaten by policemen and brought down by volleys of teargas while several others were injured.’’
He said that the party had been informed that the attack was in line with the earlier boast to “cage” Fayose ahead of the election.
“In fact, we have been made aware that the invasion was a plot to assassinate Gov. Fayose and blame it on accidental discharge by one of the policemen.
“The PDP marks this siege on an elected governor and a government house as a recipe for violence.
“It is a complete attack on our democratic order and direct assault on the corporate existence of Ekiti and her people as a federating part of our nation.”
Secondus said that information available to the PDP revealed that APC planned to deploy its governors in each local government area of Ekiti to “coordinate its rigging plot”.
He added that intelligence had also revealed that the 30,000 policemen and some “compromised” military personnel deployed to Ekiti were being positioned to embark on mass arrest and harassment of citizens.
He said the attempt was with the view to frighten the people and prevent them from participating in the election.
Secondus said that the PDP believed that all harassment, threats, arrests or even murder, would end in vain.
He said that the people of the state were fully ready now, more than ever, to face all.
In a separate news conference also in Abuja, Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Sen. Wali Jubril, advised security agencies to ensure that the election in Ekiti was peaceful.
Jubril cautioned that the deployment of security personnel for the election should not lead to war, destruction of lives and property.
“We did not want this security to be transformed to regret.”
On his part, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, urged the Federal Government to do everything within its powers to douse the tension being generated over the governorship election in Ekiti.
Abubakar, in a statement issued by his media office, said that images coming out of Ekiti “in the last few hours” was an uncivil assault on democracy and “falls short of democratic best practices”.
He said that instructions must be immediately given to all law enforcement bodies on the ground in Ekiti to act in the best interest of Nigeria.
Abubakar stated that it was not in the place of government to harass, intimidate, hound and humiliate political opponents in an election.
“What the government should do is to provide a level-playing ground and guarantee the security of the electorate and the principal political actors in the election.
“The immunity that a president enjoys under the constitution is the same immunity being enjoyed by a state governor.
“Thus, it is an aberration to democratic norms and practices in a federal system of government that one layer of government should muscle out another government on account of political differences.
“The democracy and fundamental human rights that Nigerians enjoy today were earned at a very high price.”
He advised that anything that would put democracy in jeopardy in Ekiti or anywhere else in Nigeria should be stopped forthwith.