BY OKEY NDIRIBE
The All Progressives Congress, APC, Thursday, said it will challenge the results of last Saturday’s governorship elections in Ekiti State in court.
In a communique, after the party’s inaugural National Working Committee meeting held at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja and read by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said; ” in order to prevent a recurrence of what happened in Ekiti, especially the militarization of the process, the harassment and intimidation of citizens, especially those in opposition, my party has decided to challenge in court some of these constitutional breaches and will also encourage our leaders and supporters, who were arrested, harassed and intimidated to seek the enforcement of their constitutionally-guaranteed fundamental rights that were recklessly abridged by the security agencies.”
He further stated that: “We believe that the events leading to the D-Day in Ekiti negate the principles of a free, fair and credible election. From the militarization of the election to the police attack on our supporters, arrest and detention of our leaders across the state and the use of huge funds to induce voters, the federal authorities skewed everything in favour of the PDP.”
According to him: “With thousands of armed troops, police, state security and civil defence personnel deployed to Ekiti, the state was simply under a total lock down. While we believe that the police and the civil defence indeed have a role to play in providing the necessary security for the election, we do not see why soldiers and NDLEA operatives who were armed to the teeth need to be deployed to a non-belligerent situation like an election, especially at a time that their services were more needed in the North Eastern part of Nigeria where over two hundred abducted girls are still missing and where innocent Nigerians are being killed daily.”
He threw the following posers: “who ordered the deployments of the troops and for what purpose? Who gave the orders to stop Gov. Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State from reaching Ado-Ekiti, as the Army captain who stopped and threatened to shoot him said he had orders from above?”
He continued: “It is worth mentioning that the physical prevention of Gov. Amaechi from joining his colleagues at the final campaign rally of Gov. Fayemi in Ekiti is a direct function of the unnecessary deployment of troops to Ekiti for the election. This event will go down as the biggest affront to democracy in our country in recent times.
“Also worth mentioning is the flagrant abuse of national institutions that led to the country’s aviation authorities shutting down airports in Akure and elsewhere on the same day that our party had its last campaign rally in Ado-Ekiti. This act of impunity was targeted solely at the opposition, and it runs against global standards. Airports are never shut without the issuance of a NOTAM - Notice to Airmen.”
He asked: “Again, who gave the orders for the closure of these airports?”
Mohammed further alleged that without any reason, security personnel arrested APC leaders and supporters across Ekiti and ferried them far away from where they could vote or monitor the conduct of the election adding that this was an attestation to the fact that the security operatives were in the state more for a sinister motive than just to provide security for the election.
Said he: “In fact, the compromise by the security operatives became more obvious when a so-called Special Task Force comprising of Military, Police, SSS and NDLEA officers were summoned to a meeting Friday afternoon – a day before the election, near the Tantaliser fast food eatery at Ado-Ekiti.