By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
Amidst heightened tension ahead of the Ekiti governorship election, the Chairman of the state council of traditional rulers and Oloye of Oye-Ekiti, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju and the Attah of Ayede, Oba Abdulmumin Orisagbemi, told the security chiefs to redeploy the ex-Chief Security Officer (CSO) to Dr Kayode Fayemi, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hakeem Abiola and former Aide De’ Camp (ADC), Adeyemi Ajayi, out of the state in the interest of peace.
They expressed this at a meeting for key stakeholders ahead of the polls at a charged atmosphere of the venue, Afe Babalola Civic Centre.
Stakeholders like the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies also assured that the gubernatorial pols will be free, fair and devoid of any form of malpractices that could affect the process.
The assurances were given by INEC commissioner in charge of Ekiti, Oyo and Osun States, Mr. Solomon Soyebi,the State Police Commissioner and DSS Director at a town hall meeting organized by Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room in Ado-Ekiti,Ekiti State capital.
The Chairman of the Civil Society Organisation, Mr. Clement Nwakwo, said the essence of the meeting is to extract assurances from INEC and security agencies that the coming election will be credible.
He said: “What we have got from INEC and security are reassuring that we will get free and fair poll in Ekiti. We are going to hold INEC accountable for whatever happens and that is why it is good for the security to be helpful and we know they won’t default in this regard”, he said.
Fayose specifically alleged that ex-Chief Security Officer (CSO) to Dr Kayode Fayemi, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hakeem Abiola and former Aide De’ Camp (ADC), Adeyemi Ajayi ,have been clandestinely brought to Ekiti to lead policemen to conduct illegal arrest of members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and harass electorate.
The atmosphere became charged, as party members inside the hall threw all manners of jibe at the DSS boss as she made efforts to respond to the allegations.
But the DSS boss, Mrs. Ihenacho confirmed that the former Fayemi’s CSO is in Ekiti but not a leader of a unit as alleged by the governor, which further provoked the audience and made them to become uncontrollable until Fayose intervened and brought the situation under control.
At this point, the CP quickly intervened, saying any police officer that has political affinity with any of the interested party would not be used for the election.
The CP added that “I have built a career going to 35 years in the police and I won’t want anybody to bring me down, not even any politician or even your Excellency, Dr. Fayose will ask me to rig election and I will comply.
“We are going to give equal opportunities to all the parties and the issue you have raised will be looked into, because there are procedure we must follow , even if they are going to be redeployed”, he said.
The Governor accused the DSS boss of allegedly acting like a chieftain of the APC by ordering the arrest and detention of PDP members and some teachers.
He also tendered a video evidence to INEC chiefs at the event to confirm alleged preloading of the smart card reader by a political party in Akure, Ondo State capital.
Fayose said: “Free and fair election can only come when security did the right thing. On the day of election, I want all my security details to be withdrawn. But let me say that DSS have started arresting people but this will be resisted.
“You can’t be expecting a free, fair poll when people were being harassed and detained illegally and a police officer and DSS operative attached to a former governor were secretly drafted to head a detachment of force comprising about 63 men”.