Security Agents Clamping Down On APC Leaders, Journalists In Ekiti, Says APC


… APC Is Breaking The Electoral Law, Says PDP
SAN FRANCISCO, June 21, (THEWILL) - The statements below are from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), whose candidates are locked in a heated Governship election in Ekiti State.

The PDP statement reads:
'Our attention has been drawn to media publications deliberately sponsored by the APC today, June 21, 2014 being the Ekiti State governorship election day, against our party and our candidate in the election.

This action of the APC is unlawful and in clear breach of the provisions of the Electoral Act which expressly prohibits any form of political campaign either on the Election Day or a day before it.

This violation of the Electoral Act is condemnable. It is another early warning sign of the resolve of the APC to destabilize the process and set the stage for confusion and disagreements.

Section 99(1) Electoral Act 2010 (As amended) clearly provides that 'For the purpose of this Act, the period of campaigning in public by every political party shall commence 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day.

In the same vein, section 128 of the Electoral Act provides that any person who at an election acts or incites others to act in disorderly manner commits an offence.

It is now obvious that while the PDP has restricted itself within the ambit of the law, the APC is using every means to frustrate and torpedo the electoral process. Engaging in unlawful campaigns, wild allegations, blackmail and lies are all tools intended by the APC to incite the people against the system so as to earn an undue advantage in the exercise.

In this regard, we charge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to note the violations by the APC and take appropriate actions.

Nigerians are no longer in doubt that the APC has been planning to cause confusion in Ekiti. Well meaning Nigerians have been wondering what the Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun meant when he said in a press conference a day before the election that his party 'will not accept the outcome of any election in Ekiti State that does not comply with best practices' and that 'whoever fails to condemn the acts of impunity being perpetrated by the central government will not have the moral right to condemn the reaction that such action may elicit.'

We hereby state that the real intention of the APC is to set a fertile ground for its armed thugs to harass and unleash violence on innocent Nigerians.

We are also aware that the party has been using a compromised section of the organized labour to discredit and disrupt the exercise. We are indeed shocked by the partisan interest shown by NLC President, Comrade Abdulwahed Omar whose utterances are not only meant to promote the interest of the APC, but are a denigration of the person and office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We wish to advise that he ceases dabbling into politics and frontally face issues that relate to the Labour. Similarly, we wish to advise that if he intends to run for an elective office like his predecessor, he should wait for his tenure as labour leader to elapse.

While we commend the good people of Ekiti state for remaining calm in the face of incitements by the APC, we also urge INEC and security agencies to ensure that the process remains free, fair and credible.

Finally, we wish to restate our unflinching support for the President who has firmly demonstrated that he is first and foremost the President and Commander in chief of the Federal Republic, committed unwaveringly to the interest of all Nigerians irrespective of party affiliations.

'It is to the credit of his firm commitment to credible elections summarised in his 'one man, one vote,' that Nigerians re-joined an era where their votes count in the choice of their leaders. Even in Edo where the sitting Governor on the election day criticised the deployment of security agents to maintain orderliness, the same Gov. Oshimole turned 360 degrees in commendation for the President for a peaceful poll, when he emerged victorious. This trend of deployment of security agents was the same in Ondo and in Anambra States where opposition parties also won in peaceful polls enabled by the President.'

The APC statement reads:
'Security agents clamp down on APC leaders, Journalists in Ekiti – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has alerted Nigerians and the international community to the massive clampdown on the party's leaders as well as journalists during Saturday's ongoing governorship election in Ekiti state.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Saturday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said Mr. Awodolu and 22 others were arrested at Egbe-Ekiti and taken to Ikere-Ekiti ; two leaders were arrested from Ilawe while 11 others were picked up from Ado-Ekiti.

It said those arrested at Ado Ward A units 1, 6, 8 and 11 include Charles Fashuba, Tolu Ajayi, Elesun, Olu Hero, Gboyega Fabuero, all of whom were pointed out to security agents by one Femi Ogunleye, a member of the PDP.

APC said those arrested, who are the party's leaders at their ward and local governments, were apparently being picked up to prevent them from casting their own votes, monitoring the election and subsequently being present at the collation centres.

“Ekiti has witnessed a massive turnout of voters despite the massive deployment of troops and policemen, ostensibly to provide security for the election but in reality to intimidate and harass voters to stay away from the polling units.

“Now that the strategy of the PDP-led federal government has failed despite their over-militarization of the state, they have unleashed security agents on the leaders of the APC to prevent them from monitoring the collation of results,” APC said.

The party said the same security agents have also descended on journalists who were duly accredited to cover the election, with at least five of them forcefully taken to the boundary of Ekiti and Kwara States by a detachment of police men led by Mopol Commander G.B. Seleke

It listed the affected journalists, who were arrested at Ifaki Ekiti by over 50 mobile policemen, as Jadesola Ajibola of Inspiration FM; Toyin Yusuf, Oyetunji Ojo, Akin Ogunsola, and Aremu Awolola, all of the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC).

APC also said security men, who said they were acting on ”orders from above”, locked out voters and election officials at the Ekiti state government college, Ado Ekiti (wards 13, unit 18) are agitated.

The party listed some of the other infractions as including the following:

- The names of APC members are clearly missing on the list brought by INEC officials to Wards 3 and 4 Gbonyin LGA

- Harassment of the fiancee and aged father of the campaign manager of Fayemi, Hon. Bimbola Daramola, by gun-wielding security agents.

- Plan to burn ballot boxes if APC should win ward 2 Ifaki unit 7, LGA Ido-Osi

- Fake soldiers purportedly from the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, acting under the command of PDP chieftains, are harassing and intimidating voters in Ekiti State.

It called on local and international observers to pay urgent attention to the infractions and ensure they are rectified in the interest of a free and fair election in Ekiti State.'