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 the 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, an alleged 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.