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APRIL POLLS: EKITI GROUPS RAISE ALARM OVER ARMS BUILD-UP

By Tunji Oluwasanmi

Less than two weeks to the next month general elections, a coalition of Non Governmental Organisations in Ekiti State, the Movement for Peace and Good Governance in Ekiti (MOPEGO) has raised the alarm over alleged importation of arms into the State.

MOPEGO, a coalition of NGOs, comprising of the Ekiti Justice Group (EJG), Ekiti Justice and Equity Movement (EJEM), The Ekiti Patriots (TEP), Ekiti Youths Vanguard (EYV) and others said in a statement jointly signed by the Coalition's National Coordinator, Dr. Tunji Oluwasanmi, Secretary, Comrade Ebenezer Olaleye and Director of Communications and Strategy, Gbenga Babawibe that the police, State Security Service (SSS) and other security agencies in the State must be alive to their responsibilities before, during and after the elections.

The groups accused the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) of using government protection to promote thuggery, violence and import arms into the State, alleging that; “A government truck was suspected to have been used to smuggled arms into the government house on Saturday.”

“The signals we have been receiving in the last two weeks give us worries that the general elections won't be violence free.

“Unfortunately, those that are already bringing in arms and recruiting thugs are the same people that used to preach one man, one vote.

“We are also aware that the State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi had a meeting with his lawyers on Wednesday where he was told that; “Government machineries must be deployed to intimidate, harass and assault members of opposition parties in the State, particularly Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP).

“Similar directive was also given to Fayemi by his political godfather, Mr. Bola Tinubu when he (Tinubu) came to the Ado-Ekiti government house in a Chopper at about 12 midnight and left around 4:00am on Wednesday.

“As at today, Ekiti is already under siege. Over ten PDP supporters were wounded by ACN thugs led by the illegal Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Gbenga Odebunmi and Oyetunde Ojo, the party's Reps candidate, who is an in-law to Tinubu. The same thing happened in Emure, Ire and Ijero where ACN thugs unleashed terror on the people, destroying properties at will.”

The groups called on security agents in the State to be alive to their responsibilities before, during and after the elections so as to prevent the invasion of the State by political thugs, saying; “There are politicians in the State that are not willing to allow for a peaceful, free and fair elections and they must not be allowed to succeed.”