By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—EDO State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in furtherance of the directive from its national headquarters, yesterday in Benin City, staged a peaceful protest condemning the brutality mated out on Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, describing the development as unacceptable.
The protest, led by the state Secretary of the party, Mr Chris Nehikhare, took off at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Edo State council, where they fielded questions from newsmen before heading to the headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force to submit their protest letter to the Police command.
According to the letter obtained by Vanguard, “We, hereby, submit this protest letter to condemn the unacceptable Police brutality on the governor of Ekiti State.
“We make bold to state that the Police as an institution must not join the political fray and allow itself to be used against the people. They must maintain neutrality in the discharge of their duties.
“In the face of security challenges by herdsmen, Boko Haram and the rising cases of armed robbery, the Inspector General of Police should not waste his efforts in the political arena wanting to please those in government but confront the challenges facing us.
“We demand explanation for the unwarranted Ekiti show of shame when uniformed Police men unleashed brutal force on Governor Fayose of Ekiti State and his Deputy, Prof Olusola Eleka. They were tear-gassed and manhandled by men of the Ekiti State Police Command, on the premises of the Ekiti State Government House, as they prepared to attend a state rally right outside the Government House.
“The Ekiti State Command infringed on the rights of Ekiti State PDP chapter members by forcefully and abruptly dispersing a major rally which was scheduled to take place in the morning.
“The show of force and intimidation of our teeming supporters and voters is totally unacceptable in our present democracy. This was manifest in the barrage of gunshots unleashed on our party members and supporters in an effort to disperse them from the huge gathering.
“These are not acceptable in a democracy and as a progressive political party, it is totally unacceptable to us. Edo PDP is dismayed and condemn in very strong terms this development and hostility the police is displaying towards our party, PDP and its membership. However, painful as it is, we won’t be deterred.”