Fayose causes stir, confronts security chiefs at CSO eventIyiolastrings
GOVERNOR Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State caused a stir when he confronted the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Ahmed Bello and the Director of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mrs Promise Ihenacho, with allegations of complicity in alleged plans to rig the July 14th governorship election in the state.
Governor Fayose, while speaking at a town hall meeting convened by the Nigeria Civil Society Election Situation Room, in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, charged the atmosphere at the Afe Babalola Foundation Event Centre, venue of the meeting, when he pointedly alleged that two former security aides of Dr Kayode Fayemi, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the election, were leading policemen to arrest some members of the PDP across the state.
Fayose spoke after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the election, Professor Kolapo Olubunmi Olusola, had also raised the issues and called for a reversal of the deployments.
Fayose said ex-Chief Security Officer (CSO) to Dr Fayemi, Mr. Hakeem Abiola and his former Aide de Camp (ADC), Mr. Adeyemi Ajayi, had been brought to Ekiti secretly, and were allegedly leading policemen to effect what he said was “illegal arrest of members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and harass the electorate.”
Fayose said: “Free and fair election can only come when security did the right thing. On the day of the election, I want all my security details to be withdrawn. But let me say that DSS has started arresting people but this will be resisted.
“You can’t be expecting a free, fair poll when people are being harassed and detained illegally and a police officer and DSS operative attached to a former governor were secretly drafted to head a detachment of force comprising about 63 men.”
The Governor accused the DSS boss of allegedly acting like a chieftain of the APC by ordering the arrest and detention of PDP members and some teachers.
He also tendered a video evidence to INEC chiefs at the event to confirm alleged preloading of the smart card reader by a political party in Akure, Ondo State capital.
However, stakeholders like the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies still assured that the election would be free, fair and devoid of any form of malpractices.
The INEC commissioner in charge of Ekiti, Oyo and Osun states, Mr Solomon Soyebi, spoke on behalf of the commission while the Police Commissioner and DSS Director were also present at the meeting.
The Chairman of the Election Situation Room, Mr Clement Nwankwo, said the meeting was to extract assurances from INEC and the security agencies that the coming election would be credible.
Nwankwo said: “What we have got from INEC and security are reassuring that we will get the free and fair poll in Ekiti. We are going to hold INEC accountable for whatever happens and that is why it is good for the security to be helpful and we know they won’t default in this regard.”
But the tempo changed after Fayose spoke, which led to rising tempers, with the party members in the hall threw all manners of jibes at the DSS boss, Mrs Iheanacho, as she made efforts to respond to the allegations, and confirmed that Mr Abiola was in the state.
The Ekiti DSS boss’ admittance that Fayemi’s former CSO was in the state but that he was not a leader of a unit as claimed by the governor, infuriated the crowd further.
Her explanation heightened the uproar among the audience, which threw the hall in confusion until Fayose intervened and brought the situation under control.
The Ekiti Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Bello, while speaking assured that any police officer that had the political affinity with any of the interested parties would not be used for the election.
Bello said: The CP added that “I have built a career going to 35 years in the police and I don’t want anybody to bring me down, not even any politician or even your Excellency, Dr Fayose will ask me to rig election and I will comply.
“We are going to give equal opportunities to all the parties and the issue you have raised will be looked into because there are procedure we must follow, even if they are going to be redeployed.”
The Alliance for Democracy candidate in the poll, Mr Ben Agboola, also faulted the presence of the two men in the state, saying “such actions by security agencies would compromise security arrangements.”
Following the uproar, the Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers, through its Chairman, the Oloye of Oye Ekiti, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju as well as the Attah of Ayede, Oba Abdulmumuni Orisagbemi, told the security chiefs to redeploy the two men out of the state in the interest of peace.