National chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, led other leaders of the party to the National Assembly complex in Abuja on Thursday, July 12, 2018, to submit a petition about police brutality in Ekiti State.
The party's petition comes just a day after it raised alarm over alleged inhumane treatment of Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, in the hands of security operatives, claiming that he was 'teargassed' and attacked on Wednesday, July 11.
The party took to its official Twitter account (@OfficialPDPNig) to notify the public of the petition, posting, "The @OfficialPDPNig leaders are in front of the @nassnigeria to submit petition on the brutality of Ekiti people by the policemen but were blocked by security."
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 heightened tension in the state comes just days to its July 14 gubernatorial election which is expected to be keenly contested between Fayose's deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, and Dr Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressives' Congress (APC).
When the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, met with the delegation at the entrance of the complex, Secondus warned that the actions of the security agents is a coup and called on the national assembly to intervene. He noted that the outcome of the Ekiti election will have a big impact on the general elections in 2019.
He said, "Just yesterday, there was a civilian coup. The Ekiti government house was seized and the governor was brutalised, detained and harmed.
"Ekiti has been militarised and policed. Over 30,000 police men are in Ekiti. The citizens of Ekiti are afraid. They are traumatized. They are harassed and they are being guided not to come out of their homes.
"We call on international community to see and watch what is happening in Ekiti. If this is the type of democracy and election they tend to conduct by the APC and INEC that means the 2019 election is under threat and we believe that if they continue in this manner and if they rig the election in Ekiti, there won't be an election in 2019.
"Your Excellency we have come so you can intervene - your oversight function of the national assembly - you have a right, the mandate is with you by the constitution to query and examine and carry out your oversight function of the executive."
Ekweremadu told the delegation that the national assembly would keep a close eye on the election and ensure that all stakeholders conduct themselves in a fair manner.
Fayose claims policeman hit him with gun
Confusion enveloped the state early on Wednesday when security operatives stopped the PDP from holding a campaign rally at Fajuyi Park by firing gunshots into the air. This reportedly led to Governor Fayose attempting to lead supporters back to the venue before he was refused by security operatives who fired shots into the air again, with reports that teargas canisters were also fired.
The PDP soon raised alarm on social media that Governor Fayose was 'teargassed' and attacked by officers who took over his office at the Ekiti State Government House.
Amidst all of the confusion of the day, the governor later reemerged sporting a neck brace alongside a sling tied around his left wrist, claiming that he was beaten. He protested that if anything happens to him, the Nigeria Police Force should be held responsible.
He said, "...they used the butt of the gun to hit my neck and kicked the balls of my deputy governor and the candidate of the party.
"The secretariat was locked down, they stole all his posters and for me to explain, they started shooting sporadically and shot into the government house and shot tear gas at the people. So many people were wounded.
"If this is the democracy we're looking for in 2019. There is danger ahead. I'm having severe pains. If anything happens to me, the police must be held responsible."
The governor later addressed supporters of the party to allege that police officers have instructions to kill him or the party's candidate, Prof Olusola, aka Eleka, in order to influence the election.
"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," he said.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of Operations, Joshak Habila, told journalists on Wednesday that the police only tried to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the state ahead of the election.