The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised alarm over the alleged inhumane treatment of Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, in the hands of security operatives, alleging that he was teargassed and attacked.
The party took to its official Twitter account (@OfficialPDPNig) to raise the alarm on Wednesday, July 11, 2018.
The party alleged that the governor was pulled on the floor after security operatives, allegedly acting on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari, took over his office at the Ekiti State Government House in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
The post read, "Happening now at the Ekiti State government house, Ado Ekiti. Security operatives on the instructions of President @MBuhari has taken over @GovAyoFayose's office. Teargassed him and pulling him on the floor. See images below. Template for 2019 Elections."
The governor's aide, Lere Olayinka, later took to his own Twitter account (@OlayinkaLere) to disclose that the governor received treatment at the Government House clinic after he was hit by a teargas canister fired by policemen.
While it remains unclear what led to the governor's hospitalisation, he had earlier raised alarm over armed police officers blocking the entrance of the Government House, accusing them of shooting their firearms.
The governor took to his Twitter account (@GovAyoFayose) on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, to accuse the All Progressives' Congress (APC) of using the officers to intimidate his government ahead of the state's July 14 gubernatorial election.
He first tweeted, "This is the entrance to Ekiti Govt House now blocked by gun wielding mobile policemen. The plan is to prevent our victory walk slated for today but we will remain undeterred. Power of God and the people will prevail over Federal Power."
Minutes later, he posted again, "Heavy shooting now going on in front of Ekiti Govt house by armed policemen brought by the APC."
The governor has on several occasions accused the APC of using the influence of the federal government to intimidate and victimise his government ahead of the election.
Officers stopped 'unauthorised' PDP rally - Police
According to reports, security operatives had earlier dispersed supporters of the PDP from holding a rally at Fajuyi Park in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, with gunshots reportedly fired into the air. The 'Victory Walk' rally was organised by Governor Fayose for his deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, the PDP's candidate in Saturday's election.
Governor Fayose tried to lead supporters back to the venue but was refused by security operatives who fired shots into the air again, prompting the relocation of the rally to the Government House.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of Operations, Joshak Habila, told journalists on Wednesday that the police only acted to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the state ahead of the election.
He said, "We are not here to usurp the authority of Governor Fayose. We are not here to rubbish him because he represents the people; but we are not going to allow any unauthorised rally that can trigger violence in the state.
"You can see that the state is tensed up. As law enforcement agent, we must be proactive and take actions that can prevent crisis rather than trying to quell it after it might have broken out."
PDP vs APC in Ekiti
With Fayose's second term as Ekiti governor set to end, his deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola of the PDP, is one of the two biggest candidates in the state's upcoming gubernatorial election. He is set to battle a former governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi of the APC in the election scheduled to take place in three days.
The PDP has accused Fayemi, also a former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, of being a stooge for the federal government, controlled by the APC, to take Ekiti State by any means necessary.
Fayose is one of the most vocal voices of opposition in the country and is set to contest as president in the 2019 elections against incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he has a very public feud with.