…Demands credible polls in Ekiti
The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Thursday stormed the National Assembly and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), protesting the harassment of Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, by security agencies and insisting on the conduct of free and fair election.
The protest was in compliance with the directive of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) to its members and supporters to stage peaceful protests in the states.
The national chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, led other members of the NWC and party members on the protest match as youths and women sang in solidarity with the party.
The protesters carried placards bearing various messages such as “Buhari, stop intimidating Nigerians,” “This is not the democracy we voted for,” “Buhari, you are not God,” among others.
Former Ministers of Aviation and Women Affairs, Kema Chikwe and Josephine Anenih coordinated the women.
The protesters were received by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu. Presenting their protest a letter to Ekweremadu, Secondus said “We have come to notify our lawmakers that democracy is under threat.
“Only yesterday (Wednesday), the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose was assaulted, harassed and pushed to the ground. The All Progressives Congress (APC) has not only place democracy under threat in Nigeria but throughout the world.
“We are aware of a civilian coup in Ekiti but all we are saying is that we don’t want elections to be rigged. The international community is watching what the security agencies and INEC will do on Saturday. We demand free and fair elections because anything short of this is a recipe for disaster.
We are not intimidated and we won’t be cowed,” he said.
He however warned that there may be no elections should there be a compromise of the will of Ekiti people on Saturday.
Ekweremadu, having received the letter assured that the National Assembly will look into the issues raised by the party.
He added “All the issues raised in your petition will be looked into by the leadership of the National Assembly. We are going to make contacts with INEC and the police and we are going to do everything possible to make sure that there is free and fair elections,” Ekweremadu pledged.
From the National Assembly, the protesters marched on to INEC headquarters where one of its national commissioners, Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola received the party’s petition on behalf of the commission.
Addressing the press on the reason for their visit to INEC, Secondus said “Our intelligence shows clearly that some INEC officials and some security agents are in collusion to rig election in Ekiti State.
“We have been informed that what they did in Edo state, what they called result replacement is what they are planning to use to rig election in Ekiti State and we brought all these things to bear to INEC leadership that if they compromise and rig the election, the consequences of their actions they will bear because if you rig election, it is a recipe for crisis.”
He added that the ordeal of Fayose amounts to a civilian coup, noting that the abuse of the governor’s immunity was wrong.