Oshiomhole: Heavy security necessary in Ekiti to forestall breakdown of law, as Fayemi warns Fayose over planned breach of peace


National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adams Oshiomhole, said heavy security deployment for Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti State was necessary in forestalling breakdown of law and order.
He stated this on Monday in Abuja while reacting to the deployment of 30,000 policemen to the state for the election.
Oshiomhole spoke after a closed-door meeting with the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright, who visited him.
He, however, added that it was not the number of officers deployed that mattered, but their effectiveness in ensuring safety of voters and ballot boxes.
He said that heavy presence of military and the police was required at elections, especially in Nigeria “because the rigging machine is serviced by hardened criminals who are often hired by politicians”.
According to Oshiomhole, such criminals usually carry AK-47 Rifle on an election day and the police could be overwhelmed.
“We shouldn’t worry about how many officers are deployed. I think we should all pray that however people are deployed, that in the end, we are not counting dead bodies.
“My experience in Edo as governor is that you will hear stories of how many officers are deployed, but in the end, you will find no policemen. I have seen that in Edo.
“The important thing is that regardless of what the  police choose to do, regardless of the number they choose to deploy, let us ensure that those who are going to vote are safe and that the votes cast are secured,“ he said.
Oshiomhole appreciated the British Government for its support in promoting democracy in Nigeria and assured the envoy that the Federal Government would do everything to ensure a free and fair electoral process in Ekiti.
He said that the electoral process was more important than its outcome to him and the party.
“We are looking at the Nigerian project in terms of sustaining democracy, not the survival of a particular political aspirant, whether it is on my party platform or in the platform of the opposition,“ he said.
Earlier, Arkwright had said that his country was interested in Nigeria’s democracy, adding that Britain intended to send observers for the election.
“The British High Commission will be sending a team there to observe the election and to ensure that it goes smoothly.
“We want to basically ensure that the people of Ekiti state are allowed to freely express their opinion to vote with their conscience and to be able to do so in a peaceful manner,“ he said.
Thirty five political parties are contesting in the Ekiti election, including APC which has a former governor of the state, Dr Kayode Fayemi, as its candidate.
Later, Oshiomhole left Abuja with former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu of Abia State to Ado-Ekiti to woo labour leaders and
All N’digbo living in  the state to vote for Fayemi.
Oshiomhole and Kalu harped on the need for Fayemi to return to the Government House so as to consolidate on his landmark achievements in Ekiti between 2010 and 2014 when he served as governor.
While Oshiomhole led the team to canvass votes among labour leaders, led by the former Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress(NLC) , Ekiti chapter, Com Ayodeji Aluko, Kalu led the delegation that met with members of Ohanaeze Ndigbo at a separate meeting.
Present at the parley with Ndigbo are Governors Ibikunle Amosun, Rotimi Akeredolu and Atiku Bagudu of Ogun, Ondo and Kebbi states respectively.
Oshiomhole, former National President of the NLC, said the APC would win the election not by intimidation but based on past records of Fayemi’s administration in the state
The former Edo State governor added that  he was told how PDP had been intimidating the people over this election, saying he has come to give assurances to workers that Fayemi won’t sack them.
“Our task as labour leaders is not to agonize but to have the will to fight. I have not come to lament that Fayose has not paid workers. I have come to give guarantee  to the workers of Ekiti that their welfare will be priority to us.
“Fayemi knows that if he doesn’t perform especially for workers, I will box him from Abuja. Don’t be afraid, I am behind you and I will get whatever due for you from Dr Fayemi if you convince your people to give him the votes”.
Kalu, while addressing Igbo resident in Ekiti said Fayemi has
promised to give financial support to their businesses if elected, the way he did in his first term.
He urged them to discountenance the hate speeches being peddled around by PDP, labeling APC as anti-igbo and
Islamic party, describing these as attempts to smear the image of the party.
Kalu said Fayemi remains the only person that can bring Ekiti out of squalor, saying Governor Ayodele Fayose shouldn’t be
allowed to impose whom he described a ‘cowboy’ on the people.
The former Abia Governor added that from the look of things, the candidate of the PDP, Prof Kolapo Olusola, doesn’t possess the credential and knack to be able to lead a complex state like Ekiti.
He said: “You have to vote for a man that is better equipped for the job. Don’t listen to the rumour that APC is an Islamic party.
“When President Muhammadu Buhari came, he inherited a massively looted economy. The PDP people were just going to the Central Bank of Nigeria to collect money on the order of the then President.
“You know what it means for the CBN to be looted and that was why we experienced the economic recession when Buhari came and today, we are out of it.
“APC remains the best party for Ndigbo. I cannot be bribed by anybody to deceive you. I would rather die than to deceive you because we are one.
“President Buhari did the second Niger bridge. He had also awarded many road contracts in the South-East. Did former President Olusegun Obasanjo, late Umaru Yar’Adua and Dr Goodluck Jonathan do all these?
“President Buhari might not have given us many appointments, but he has performed for the South-East in terms of facilities and public utilities.
“If President Buhari is bad, I will be the first person to expose him. Please, vote for APC in this election. Make sure you spread the gospel and you will never regret it.
“He has promised to give you appointments in governments and give you other supports and I know the promise shall be fulfilled”, he stated.
Fayemi assured that he would treat the Ndigbo and the workers with dignity and honour if given the chance, promising to fulfil all pledges made to these groups if given the mandate to govern Ekiti again.
Meanwhile, the Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation has warned Governor Ayodele Fayose against plan to cause trouble during and after the Tuesday mega rally by APC) in Ado-Ekiti.
The warning came on the heels of disruption of the stakeholders meeting by members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the Eagle Hall, Ado-Ekiti, on Monday.  
The Director of Media and Publicity of the Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation, Wole Olujobi, in a statement on Monday, said Fayose would be held accountable for any breach of peace if anything untoward happened on Tuesday as threatened.

“The disruption of the stakeholders meeting today by members of PDP is condemnable, but expected against the backdrop of Fayose’s activities across the state in the last few days.
“He had earlier hinted publicly that something will happen on Tuesday that will shock Ekiti people, and events in the last two days have pointed to that direction with thugs being imported to the state to cause breach of public peace.
“After disrupting the meeting this morning, Fayose has been inviting drivers’ union leaders, asking them to withdraw their vehicles from the roads tomorrow to cause traffic crisis in order to hurt the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Ekiti State to attend APC’s grand mega rally as campaign activities draw to a close ahead of the July 14 poll.
“We are aware of the directive to drivers to park their vehicles in the Government House grounds after paying them cash in a desperate bid to cripple traffic to disrupt Tuesday APC rally.
“We are also aware that he has threatened to smash vehicles found on the roads conveying residents from one point to the order.
“This is a reckless conduct by a governor who is supposed to conduct himself in decorous manner expected of a man in high office.
“APC has been having good working relationship with Ekiti State drivers over the years and so we wonder why the governor is now bent on destroying that relationship.
“We hereby advise the drivers to ignore Fayose who has done nothing for them in the last three and half years but suddenly realised that N10,000 is what he needs to destroy the good working relationship between the drivers and APC.  
“Again, intent to cause public disorder, Fayose is planning to invite Ekiti youths he has been deceiving with job promises in the last three years to the Government House on Tuesday to submit their job application forms, all in a bid to cause confusion that may lead to breakdown of law and order,” Olujobi said.
He warned that the governor would be held accountable for any breach of security during the President’s visit, saying that Fayose’s sabotage plot was not only deliberate to cause disruption of public peace, but also a direct threat to the President’s security.


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