By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
The All Progressives Congress, APC, has dragged Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State to the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, accusing him of sponsoring violence against its members and supporters in the state.
In a petition submitted to the Commission by the Secretary of APC in Ekiti State, Mr. Omotosho Ayodele, the party alleged that Governor Fayose armed thugs and gave them authority to physically attack and intimidate opposition personalities in the State.
The petition which was received by the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Prof Bem Angwe, read in part: “We are here over the present political situation in Ekiti State. When all Nigerians are busy praying for peace, what we have in Ekiti State is a clear departure from that.
“As this Commission is clamouring for a violence free polls, we are aware of the determination of the Commission to bring the perpetrators of violence in the polls to book, unfortunately the person who is supposed to be the Chief Security Officer in Ekiti State is the person unleashing this violence in the State.
“Fayose’s boys are always on the streets macheting people, scaring people. Vehicles are being damaged, houses damaged. Inspite of various petitions to the police, nothing has been done.”
“Governor Fayose does his things with impunity and nobody challenges him, with what we have seen so far, we can no longer guarantee a violence free elections in Ekiti State. The activities of Fayose is undermining the peace pact signed by our Presidential Candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and President Goodluck Jonathan”.
Ayodele who handed the petition further told the Commission that, “On January 21, 2015, Mr. Fayose’s thugs and members of the Oduah Peoples Congress,OPC, dressed in Army and police uniforms, backed by policemen attached to the Government House ransacked and vandalized the APC Secretariat on Ajiloson Street, Ado-Ekiti, while the security guards on duty were physically assaulted.
“On January 24, Adelek Samsom, a students’ union leader who attended the APC Presidential rally in Ado-Ekiti with his colleagues was violently attacked by Mr. Fayose’s thugs. He sustained life threatening injuries on his head”, he added.
Meanwhile, Prof Angwe after receiving the petition, restated the determination of the Commission to ensure that anybody found culpable of promoting violence and hate speech is prosecuted no matter how highly placed.
He said: “The NHRC is home for all Nigerians irrespective of religion, ethnicity and political affiliation. I want to commend you for taking this cause of action and not to take the laws into your hands. Your allegations are against a sitting Governor which has consequences, because if they are false, they portend serious consequences, and if they are true they still have consequences.
“We at the Commission are saddened by these allegations, we are determined to ensure that people get remedy whenever their rights are abused. It will be sad if the allegations are proven against an Executive Governor who has sworn an oath to protect lives and properties.
“Africa should move away from the days of President Idi Amin of Uganda where peoples rights are trampled upon with impunity. Nigeria has empowered the Commission to ensure that impunity is stamped out, by this singular act of empowering the Commission to do its job, we are committed to ensure that the culture of impunity is a thing of the past.