Ekiti State boiled on Wednesday ahead of Saturday’s governorship election as the State Governor, Ayo Fayose, alleged that he was teargassed, resulting in his falling to the ground.
However, both the ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party, and the main opposition, the All Progressives Congress, contested the events that led to the use of tear gas and even if Fayose was at the scene of the commotion.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, Fayose alleged that he was beaten and dragged on the floor by security men.
He alleged that those who beat him were security men who had occupied the gates of the Governor’s Office since Tuesday when President Muhammadu Buhari came to the state for mega rally of the APC.
The statement said posters displaying PDP candidates were torn at the Fajuyi Park and replaced with those of the APC candidate.
The governor, according to the statement, was bandaged on the neck and hands, but managed to speak with teeming supporters who massed to the Governor’s Office to sympathize with him.
The statement added: “The governor suddenly fainted after briefly addressing the people and that further angered them as they cursed and rained verbal invectives on the opposition and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kayode Fayemi.”
Trouble, according to the statement by Adelusi, started when Fayose, leading thousands of supporters in a victory walk he had announced to hold in Ado Ekiti some days ago, approached some stern looking armed policemen to demand why they were preventing people to mass at the campaign venue in Fajuyi pavilion.
The statement added: “Responding, the security men allegedly teargassed him and many others, and shot sporadically in the air.”
Alleging physical assault by the security agents, Fayose said: “I was slapped by a policeman who kicked me and shouted at me, but I want you to be strong and be of great courage do not be discouraged, this battle must be won. They have come to occupy our land, this is not our democracy. I pray that they will not cause 1883 in Ekiti. I call on the international communities and relevant agencies, Ekiti is under seige. How can l be a governor of Ekiti state and be manhandled like this?
“I will go back to the hospital and rest. Be resolute stand with PDP and (the candidate of the PDP for the election and Deputy Governor, Prof. Olusola Kolapo) Eleka. I am having a lot of pains but I prefer to bear this pain because of you.
“I call on international communities, Nigeria and Ekiti is in trouble, they have arrested many PDP members, put them in chains and locked them away.
“Come and rescue Ekiti State. We are the majority, we are the party to beat. They said they have the instruction to kill me or the candidate of the party but they will fail.”
Fayose was later rushed to the intensive care unit of the state hospital after he fainted.
However, there was a contention that Fayose was not even at the scene of the incident that led to the use of teargas.
There was the allegation that it was some Niger Delta boys that the outgoing Governor brought into the state for the purpose of the election that had a confrontation with security operatives, leading to the use of teargas to disperse them.
Another version of the story of what transpired had it that it was Fayose’s failure to pay some driver that sparked the violence.
Fayose was said to have secured the confidence of some drivers and commercial motorcycle riders to stay off the road on Tuesday during the rally of the APC, attended by President Buhari, with a promise of to pay them N10,000 each.
One of the drivers union leaders, Kamoru Ojuolape, who was alleged to have stormed the Government House to demand for the money promised them on Wednesday morning, reportedly said they were angry because the governor failed to pay them the N10,000 he promised them for parking their vehicles overnight in order to disrupt transportation system to hurt the APC rally.
Ojuolape, according to a statement that emanated from the opposition APC, said the drivers became unruly when they discovered that some parts of their vehicles had been stolen.
He allegedly said requests to see the governor were turned down, while some of Fayose’s aides blasted the drivers who responded by throwing punches.
Some of the governor’s aides joined the fray, which further drew the anger of other drivers.
In the orgy of violence that ensued, policemen were called in to quell the riot with teargas.
Minutes later, the picture of the governor who was nowhere near the scene appeared on social media that he was teargassed by the police.
A chieftain of the APC in Ekiti State, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, has advised the people of the state to ignore what he described as the latest antics of Fayose.
Adeyeye, who spoke through the Director of Press of his campaign organization, PAAM, Chief Niyi Ojo, in a press statement he released in Ado Ekiti, the state capital on Wednesday, said Fayose has always been a clownish dramatist and that his latest stunt was aimed at creating a diversion for the people of the state, while covering up his nefarious activities, which are aimed at rigging Saturday’s governorship election.
The statement said: “Fayose has always been a dramatist. He has always been acting drama. Ekiti people should ignore him and remain resolute in their determination to throw him out of office and out of Ekiti State completely, on July 14.”
The former Minister of state for Works congratulated the people of the state for their impressive turnout on Tuesday for the party’s mega rally and the visit of President Buhari.
He also implored the youths of the state, especially students of higher institutions, not to involve themselves in the Governor’s schemes to rig Saturday’s election, adding that it could turn awry for them and knowing Fayose, he would deny them when they are arrested and incarcerated.
Adeyeye said: “I congratulate the people of the state for their massive turn out on Tuesday for the visit of President Muhammdu Buhari to the state APC’s mega rally and other VIPs, who came too. This was despite all the devilish plans of the tyrannical state governor to prevent and disrupt the rally.
“I admired their courage and determination to weed out the Pharaoh of Ekiti state through the polls on Saturday.
“There are reports that some of our youths are been misguided by the despot at the state House, to engage them in disrupting the democratic process. These have dire consequences and the character in the government house has been known in the past to betray those who did his bidding in the past and get caught. Be wise, don’t be used for devilish plots, which are anti-democratic.”