A grim image has been painted about the current political climate in Ekiti as security officials are said to be harassing and arresting members of the opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC).
This is happening as the incumbent governor of the state, Kayode Fayemi slugs it out at the polls with his main challenger from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Ayo Fayose and others today in an election which many expect will set the tone for the 2015 general elections.
Reports have it that some prominent members of the APC have been arrested while yet others are being harassed as the governorship election of the state is set to hold today.
The team of security officials, said to comprise the the army, mobile police and State Security Services (SSS), are said to have maintained a siege on the state.
According to Sahara Reporters:
Among those arrested, in Iye Ekiti, the headquarters of Ilejemeje Local Government, Mr. Olaiya Popoolati was picked up by the security men and whisked away to an unknown destination. Another leader, Chief Kehinde Babatola who was also earmarked for arrest, had his wife picked up when he could not be found at home.
In Epe Ekiti in Moba Local Government area, the agents picked up Femi Fadare.
Also in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, 10 men who were watching the France and Switzerland World Cup encounter at Hilmat Hotel were arrested on the suspicion that they were APC members. An eye witness who saw them being taken away said the men were virtually dragged into a waiting truck.
Reacting, an APC leader in Iye Ekiti, Chief Folorunsho Olabode, described the arrests as an attempt to intimidate the people of Ekiti so that they do not exercise their civic rights tomorrow.
“We will not allow our State to be turned to a war zone,” he said. Persons being picked up indiscriminately without any offence are an attack on the generality of Ekiti people. And why would it be that these arrests are targeted at only APC members?”
In a related development, people of Ijeshamodu in Moba Local Government tonight alleged intimidation and harassment by some members of the Peoples Democratic Party led by a former member of the House of Representatives, Duro Faheyi.
Saharareporters learnt that soldiers invaded the home Director General of Governor Kayode Fayemi’s campaign organization, Bimbo Daramola’s house in Ire-Ekiti. Mr. Daramola, who left the premises before the invasion by soldier sent text messages saying that soldiers thoroughly harassed hi 84-year old father.
President Goodluck Jonathan sent 36,000 security agents to Ekiti for the gubernatorial elections. Security sources told Sahara Reporters that there are 12,340 regular policemen; 3170 anti-riot policemen; 4,280 soldiers; 1800 Nigerian secret police operatives and 15 civil defense personnel on ground in the state.