Nigeria News
Tension in Ekiti, Fayemi declares curfew

Ekiti Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has declared a dusk till dawn curfew in the state.

In a live broadcast in Ado-Ekiti on Friday, Fayemi said “there would be no movement between the hours of 7.00pm and 7.00am everyday till further notice.

“We urge the citizenry to be vigilant and provide the security agencies with details of suspicious activities that can undermine the peace in our state.”

The declaration followed widespread violence across the state capital on Friday aftermath the killing of a former Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Omolafe Aderiye, by unknown gunmen on Thursday night.

The office of Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation and three vehicles in the state secretariat of the All Progressives Congress were burnt in the early hours of Friday.

On Monday, political thugs invaded the Ekti State High Court presided over by Justice Olusegun Ogunyemi to disrupt proceedings in a case challenging the eligibility of the Governor-elect, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, to contest the June 21 election won by him.

The invasion took place shortly after the judge refused an application to set aside an order abridging the time for the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate to file his defence in the case filed by two members of the Ekiti-11, a member, Mr. Adeniyi Ajakaiye and Olufemi Ajayi.

On Thursday, another judge, Justice John Adeyeye, was beaten by some political thugs who also tore his suit into shreds.

There was also tension at the Ekiti State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Thursday in a matter between the All Progressives Congress and the Governor-elect, Ayodele Fayose.

Tracing the genesis of the violence to the Monday attack on Justice Ogunyemi, Fayemi indicted law enforcement agencies for not doing enough to avoid the situation.

He said, “This happened in full glare of the law enforcement agents with inappropriate response. Clearly, these brigands exceeded the limits of acceptable behavior, even in the most liberal of democracies, and ventured into the realm of blatant criminality with this desecration of the hallowed chambers of the law.

“The fact that this assault did not meet with any strong deterring repercussions from the appropriate authorities further emboldened the miscreants.

“They subsequently attempted to prevent the Ekiti State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal from sitting, yesterday, Thursday, September 25. I am advised incontrovertibly that thugs acting on the command of Mr. Ayo Fayose, who was also present to lend his clout to the travesty, brazenly assaulted a senior judge and urged his thugs to beat him up and tear his clothes.”

He added, “Since the beginning of this development on Monday, which is unprecedented in the recent history of our state, I have been in touch with the Heads of all Security Agencies at the State and Federal levels, urging them to act quickly and firmly in the interest of public law and order. It is worrisome that the slow and inadequate response has occasioned the avoidable escalation of violence in our dear state.”

The Governor described the use of violence and intimidation to obstruct the course of justice as a clear invitation to anarchy.

He appealed to the political elite in the state to exercise caution as the state is in the transition era, adding that all stakeholders must work together to ensure Ekiti State came out stronger for it.

He said, “We must rescue our state from the precarious slippery slope that some have desperately pushed us to. We should not imperil the very people we seek to serve by resorting to violence and brigandage. One does not burn down his homestead to establish his claim of ownership or leadership.

“Most assuredly, the course of Justice can only be delayed, but can never be truncated. The independence of the Judiciary is an inviolable tenet of any democracy.”

The Governor said he had directed the Attorney General of the state, Mr. Wale Fapohunda, to issue a legal advisory to the Chief Judge, Ayodeji Daramola, and all the parties to the existing cases in the State High Court and the Ekiti State Governorship Elections Petitions Tribunal, on the desirability of seeking an alternative venue for the hearing of these cases outside Ekiti State.

He said, “The State can no longer afford to witness the bizarre spectacle of the beating up of judicial officers and wanton intimidation of lawyers and court personnel.”

Fayemi, who noted that the security agencies had taken control of the situation, urged them not to relent in performing their constitutional role of protecting lives and property in our state.

He said, “Administrations come and go; politics can be frenetic when the stakes are high; but by the grace of the Almighty God, our state remains for all time, therefore the peave of our land is not negotiable.”

The Governor appealed to the people to see themselves as brothers despite their political differences by embracing civility and empathy.

He said, “Let us deal truthfully with our youth, who are so liable to be led astray by unbridled political fervour, by seeing them as our children rather than as conscripts or fodder for our objectives.

“Let us work together to stop the violence and brigandage that has brought about serious embarrassment to our state in the last few days.”

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