Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, has raised alarm that the state is under seige by security operatives
The governor appeared at the rally of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) moments after the party claimed that he was attacked by security operatives who allegedly shot a teargas canister at him and took over his office at the Ekiti State Government House in Ado Ekiti, the state capital on Wednesday, July 11, 2018.
The governor's aide, Lere Olayinka, later took to his 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.
When he reappeared to party supporters, the governor was sporting a neck brace alongside a sling that was tied around his left wrist. He alleged that police officers have instructions to kill him or the party's candidate in order to influence the state's election. He called on the international community to come to the aid of the state which he said is under seige.
He said, "My people, the Lord will fight this battle. The Nigerian Police and the AIG ordered that the governor should be killed. I was slapped by a policeman who kicked me and shot at me, but I want you all to be strong and be of great courage. Do not be dismayed.
"This battle must be won. This is army of occupation, they have come to occupy our land. This is not the democracy we asked for. I want you to stand and remain standing. Don't be afraid. Remain and face them.
"I pray that they'll not cause 1983 problem in Ekiti. I call on the international community, Ekiti is under seige. The PDP men are being arrested every day. How can I be a governor of Ekiti State and be treated like this in our own country? My people, I call on all of you, stand and keep standing. Stand for justice. Stand for this election. Stand with Eleka and stand with PDP. By the grace of God, you will celebrate.
"They said they have instructions to kill me or the candidate of the party. They said they have the results already they're going to announce on Saturday. The Lord will not allow them."
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.