Two weeks to the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti State, violence again erupted on Sunday in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, resulting in the death of one, with many people injured.
It was gathered that the Police attacked the convoy of the Ekiti Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, following the disruption of a peaceful rally embarked upon by members of the All Progressives Congress.
The members, who were returning from Oluyemi Kayode Stadium ‘after sweeping the place’, were ambushed by the police, who allegedly fired tear-gas and live bullets, to disperse them.
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ayo Fayose, was presented by the party’s hierarchy, including President Goodluck Jonathan, Vice-President Namadi Sambo and PDP National Chairman, Adamu Muazu, at the stadium.
The APC supporters on Sunday went to the stadium to sweep it in order to purify the soil stepped upon by the PDP members.
Irked by the development, which they considered offensive on Sambo who was still in the town, the police swooped on the APC members to disperse them.
The clash later snowballed into a fullscale violence as some people suspected to be supporters of the PDP allegedly joined in the onslaught when they heard that their main men were being attacked by the APC members.
Vehicles belonging to members of the two parties were vandalised.
The governor, who arrived at the scene of the attack in company with his security details was not spared by the police, who again fired tear-gas at his convoy.
An eyewitness said a security detail that tried to protect the governor from the onslaught was harassed by the state Mopol Commander, Mr. Gabriel Selenkere, who attempted to disarm him.
A source said the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Felix Uyanna, who appeared at the scene about an hour later, apologised to the governor.
Uyanna told the governor he was there to protect him. But the governor, who was shocked by the development retorted, ‘You are here to protect me and your men were shooting at me. I am the Chief Security Officer of this state and your men were firing at me. You have killed someone now! You have killed someone! Whose interest are you protecting?”
Addressing journalists in Ado-Ekiti, the state Chairman of the APC, Chief Olajide Awe, who claimed that a member of his party was killed by the police, described the incident as “worrisome”.
He claimed that the Police in the ensued melee fired live bullets which killed one of their members (name withheld).
But in a sharp reaction, the state Chairman of the PDP, Makanjuola Ogundipe, claimed that it was Fayemi that led APC thugs to cause trouble in the town.
He said, “A situation where the Chief Security Officer of the state is the law breaker calls for serious concerns.”
He added that a rider of a commercial motorcycle, otherwise known as okada, was attacked and amputated by the APC thugs.
Ogundipe, who warned the APC against attacking their members, said, “I want to assure them that if they don’t stop the trouble, we will not hesitate to do the needful.”
The state Publicity Secretary, PDP, Mr. Kola Oluwawole, claimed that the man killed in the attack was a member of the PDP, although he could not give his name.
But the Police Commissioner, in a statement, said the police had no hand in the killing, saying the victim was attacked by members of the APC and the PDP, who clashed during the rally.
Uyanna said, “The APC was holding a rally today in Ado Ekiti with intention to sweep off the footprints of the PDP without the permission of the police. They had an encounter with the PDP rival party, where dangerous weapons, like axes, cudgels, machetes and other dangerous weapons were freely used. A yet-to-be identified man was inflicted with multiple injuries on the head and was rushed to the hospital on the order of the Police commissioner.
“The CP and the Director of SSS, Mr. Samuel Tamuno had to mobilise to the point . We heard that the Governor wanted to visit the scene and we advised him against that which he did not heed. So, the police should not be held liable for this,” he said.tweet