Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor Ayodele FayoseÂ WednesdayÂ said he was “slapped and beaten” by policemen deployed to disperse a gatheing of Peoples Democratic Party supporters atÂ the Government House.
Fayose and his Deputy, Prof Kolapo Olusola, said they were hit with gunstock on the neck, leading to the neck injury the governorÂ sustained.
Recounting his ordeal, the governor, who wore cervical collar, wept profusely while addressing the party members who had earlier been dispersed by policemen in front of the Government House where they converged for a victory rally.
Fayose explainedÂ Â thatÂ Â the policemen confirmed to him that they were under strict instruction from the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, that theyÂ should get rid of him and his deputy.
â€œI was slapped and beaten by mobile policemen in my own state. They shot at me. As I speak with you, I am inÂ Â severe pains, I am experiencing pains.
“I plead with the international community to intervene, Nigeria is in trouble, Ekiti is in crisis.
â€œIn the last few days, they have arrested PDP members, teachers, and civil servants,Â people of good conscience should come and save Ekiti.
â€œThey said they were under strict instruction from the Presidency to kill me and my deputy, who is the candidate of our party.
â€œThese are army of occupation who are here to occupy our land. I want you to stand and remain standing, I pray they donâ€™t kill me and put Ekiti in crisis.
â€œI plead to the international community to intervene and save Ekiti from this siege. How can a state governor be treated like this in his own state.
â€œI am passing though these pains because of my people. I will go backÂ Â to the hospital after addressing you to receive further medical treatmentâ€, he said.
Olusola, who had earlier addressed the crowdÂ Â beforeÂ Â Fayoseâ€™s arrival, said Ekiti was under siege, just because the APC was desperate to take over the state.
â€œA situation whereby a policeman will slap a sitting governor, this is not good. The President must be warned. International community should warn President Buhari.
â€œWhen they were beating me andÂ Â Mr.Â Â governor, I told the Commissioner of Police in charge of MOPOL unitÂ Â that you are beating a deputy governor. He told me ‘who is a deputy governor?’ The same thing he saidÂ Â to the governor.
â€œMy mandate is a divine one and theÂ Â army that is with usÂ Â are more than those with them. We are not going to be intimidated.Â Â We shall go to the electionÂ on SaturdayÂ and winâ€.
Olusola said several cases determined by the Supreme Court had confirmed that political parties needed not get approval from police before going for campaign.
The Senator representing Ekiti South, Mrs Biodun Olujimi, said the entire people of the state that put Fayose in government canâ€™t be wrong, urging the federal government to have a rethink and warn the policemen.
Mrs Olujimi said Ekiti people would never resort to violence in spite of the intimidation and harassment of the PDP supporters.
â€œOur people were being picked up everywhere, over what? If you are popular you wonâ€™t be doing all these.
â€œIf you are popular, Ekiti people will vote for APCÂ on Saturday, anything outside a democratically elected person is a nullity, it is undemocraticâ€, she said.
The Chairman, House Committee on Information, Hon. Samuel Omotoso, said the PDP office in the state capital had been occupied by policemen, describing the action asÂ Â aÂ Â return of the country to military era.
The PDP Chairman in the State, Baarister Gboyega Oguntuase, said the countryâ€™s democracy is in danger under the present IGP.
He said the election ofÂ SaturdayÂ shall be won by the masses of Ekiti and not by anybody, saying : â€œas we speak now, the police have taken over our land, but we shall not be intimidatedâ€.
AÂ Â source at the Government House said Fayose came to the entrance of the Government House to ask why the PDP members were being dispersed from the pavilion located at Fajuyi Park, where a rally was scheduled to hold
The governor upon getting wind of how his people were being manhandled promptly ran to the scene and asked why such action was being taken by the anti-riot policemen
It was gathered that immediately the governor disembarked from his vehicle, the policemen moved towards him and ordered him to return to the Government House.
The source said they threatened to open fire on some of his aides, who became livid about the police action.
â€œWhen the governor insisted that he should be told why his people were being manhandled, he was asked to go back, but he said he demanded reason the police took the action.
â€œAs the governor insisted, a MOPOL commander fired teargas canister at him and he fell and became unconsciousâ€, the source said.
TheÂ Â dispersed crowd later converged on the Government House where they were addressed by the deputy governorÂ who is theÂ Â candidate of the PDP.