From Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja
Less than three weeks before the Ekiti State governorship election, members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) have accused the Department of State Services (DSS) of harassing them to support the All Progressives Congress candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
The State Chairmen of NURTW and RTEAN, Comrade Clement Adekola and Mr. Rotimi Agbede, said on Tuesday, while speaking with journalists that they were curious that four of their members were summoned to a meeting by the Director of DSS in Ado Ekiti on Monday.
Apart from Adekola and Agbede, who were invited, the DSS was said to have sent invitation to other members: Diya Ajayi, Lawrence Ologunja, Ayo Ajetomobi and one Ojo.
They alleged that the purpose of the meeting was for the DSS to convey what was described as â€œmessage from aboveâ€ on the need for them to back out from supporting the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship candidate, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, and switch support to the APC candidate.
The drivers unions however said they would not be forced to support a candidate against their wish, saying â€œGovernor Ayodele Fayose has done so much for the state and our unions; we must pay him back by supporting his partyâ€™s candidate.”
The unions added, â€œMost importantly, the APC candidate was responsible for crisis in the drivers unions, when he was governor. It was during his tenure that one of our foremost leaders, Chief Omolafe Aderiye, was murdered in cold blood and we do not want a return of bloody clashes among our members, which was common when Fayemi was governor.â€
Calling on security agencies to maintain neutrality before, during and after the July 14 election, the drivers unions said, â€œEkiti people must be allowed to choose their governor in a free, fair and credible election.
“Anything other than that will be inviting chaos into the state and students of politics in Nigeria can still remember what happened in 1983 when those controlling power at the center tried to force a governor on Ondo State. We are sure no one wants a repeat of such.”
The groups called on all well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on security agencies to avoid being used to subvert the will of Ekiti people and put democracy at risk, “bearing in mind that the Ekiti State election will serve as a prelude to what to expect in 2019.â€