Ekiti: Anger, theatrics over police overbearing presence

Ayodele Fayose

By Uche Mbah

It was a time of anger and theatrics in the wake of the Saturday elections in Ekiti state when the Governor, Ayo Fayose, allege that he has been tear-gassed and brutalized by the Nigerian police force. This magazine reported yesterday that about 30,000 policemen were mobilized to monitor security in Ekiti state, a number that far exceeded the number that has ever been sent to any herdsmen troubled zone.According to a commentator on Facebook, “In election in Ekiti, they have turned to Sylvester Stallone, when it is herdsmen, they turn to prayer warriors”.

But after the All Progressives Congress rally, the Peoples democratic Party rally was stopped by the police because, according to them, it is not ideal for both parties to hold their rallies the same day. There has been unconfirmed reports that the police has sealed off the state government secretariat and prevented workers from entering or leaving. In one of the ensuing altercations, Governor Fayose claimed on National Television that he has been brutalized and tear-gassed by the  police. The opposition has insisted that the whole episode was part of propaganda theatrics, to garner sympathy votes for his deputy who is actually the one that is contesting for the governorship’

If that has been the aim, and it is theatrics, then the governor has largely succeeded. The whole episode has swayed the public opinion largely in favor of the governor, who appeared with a neck support from the hospital he was attended to, though wrongly fixed.

But the worrying thing is the fact that the police as been going about in the streets  spreading tear gas for no immediately identifiable reason. According to them, “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.” It will be recalled that Fayose is the Chief Security Officer of the State.

Meanwhile, while the shenanigans are going on in Ekiti, the president has kept mum. At the same time, Fulani Herdsmen struck in Sokoto state, the seat of the Caliphate-a departure from their usual concentration on the North east. Analysts believe it has much to do with Governor Tambuwal’s current position on the Buhari presidency, and his alleged intention to Decamp to PDP. “It may be a warning shot for him to recant from his tirades against  their demi god”, an analyst indicated recently, “but it may backfire’. Asked how this could be, he kept mum.

Meanwhile, Buhari only reaction to the Skoto killings was that Nigerians should “be patient” with the presidency, that the security agents are “cracking their heads” on how to solve the Fulani herdsmen problem.

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