….Residents make panic withdrawal from banks
By Gbenga Ariyibi
Panic and anxiety have gripped the residents of all the major towns and villages inÂ Ekiti State as the election petition tribunal delivers its judgement today on the 24 April 2009 governorship re-run election even as the state government has warned all the people of the state to be law abiding and remain peaceful during and after todayâ€™s judgement.
Dr. Kayode Fayemi of the ActionÂ Congress, AC, has dragged Engr Segun Oni to the tribunal challenging his victory at the polls
Specifically, the AC candidate is contesting the results of the election re-run in six wards of Orin/Ora ward, Ifaki ward 1 and 2, Usi ward all in Ido/Osi Local Government and Ipoti Wards 1 and 2 in Ijero Local Government areasÂ of the state.
Already more than 6, 000 regular and anti- riot policemen have been drafted to the state to maintain the security of live and property.
A visit to most of the banks in the state capital yesterday by Vanguard indicated that people had trooped to the banks, making panic withdrawal.
One of the customers of an old generation bank who spoke to Vanguard underÂ condition of anonymity said she decided to rush to the bank to withdraw some money for her familyâ€™s use since according to her, “nobody knows where the pendulum of the judgement will swing, therefore, I donâ€™t want to be caught unawares, as the experience of 1983 in the case of Omoboriowo Vs Ajasin was still fresh in my memory.â€
Also discussions among the civil servants at the Secretariat and Governorâ€™s Office yesterday centered around todayâ€™s judgement. Most of them who spoke with Vanguard expressed their reservations on the judgement, with a number of them declaring that they would not come to office today because of the fear of the unknown.
Vanguard further gathered that parents/guardians in the state have instructed their wards not to go to school at all today because of the fear of what would be the outcome of todayâ€™s verdict.
Meanwhile, the state government has urged the residents of the state to remain calm and not to allow themselves to be used by politicians who may not be happy with todayâ€™s judgement.
According to the statement by the State Commissioner for Information andÂ Civil Orientation, Mr Taiwo Olatubosun, the government warned that no trouble makers would be spared.
The commissioner stressed the need for all stakeholders to maintain the peace, irrespective of the outcome of the verdict of the tribunal, saying that the issue of who governs the state should not be seen as a do-or-die affair but as a divine call that cannot be achieved without the express permission of God.
Olatubosun said that security agencies have been put on red-alert to forestall any form of violence and lawlessness before, during and after the judgment, adding that there would be no sacred cow as anybody caught would be made to face the wrath of the law.
The government spokesman warned parents, guardians and teachers to not to allow their children and wards to be used as political thugs by disgruntled politicians who may be looking for unwary people to use for their nefarious activities. He added that students, particularly those in tertiary institutions should also avoid unnecessary involvement in political shenanigans that often lead to violence which he noted was not in the best interest of their future.
While assuring the people of adequate security of their lives and property, the Information Commissioner appealed to all and sundry to maintain the peace and go about their lawful businesses, adding that any suspicious action that may lead to breakdown of law and order should be reported to the nearest security agency.
The commissioner therefore, charged security operatives in the state to remain alert and proactive since according to him, the state cannot afford any form of needless violence orchestrated by selfish and deceitfulness politicians.