It would be recalled that Governor Fayose alleged an attack by security personnel on Wednesday.
Hundred of supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Katsina State led by it Chairman, Hon. Salisu Majigiri on Thursday defy rainfall to stage a solidarity protest over alleged manhandling of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and his supporters ahead of the Saturday’s gubernatorial election in the state.
Leading the protest to submit a letter addressed to the Inspector General of Police through the Katsina Police Commissioner, Hon. Majigiri expressed dismay and disheartening over the manhandling of the Governor.
Majigiri described the development as a threat to the nation’s democracy, rule of law and flagrant abuse of the Nigerian constitution. In the letter, the Party Chairman however said, “if a sitting Governor can be manhandled, then nobody is safe. The police that are supposed to be the protectors of lives and property are unfortunately being used as the originators of the violence.
“We therefore feel dismayed and disheartened that such action is happening in our country. This is a threat to democracy, a threat to rule of law and a flagrant abuse of the Nigerian constitution. “The 1999 Nigerian constitution in Chapter IV section 40 guarantees right to peaceful assembly and association.
“Finally, we hope the force headquarters rectify the situation as alarming matter of urgency particularly as we are just 48 hours to the start of elections in Ekiti State,” the Chairman, Hon. Majigiri stated. The Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Wakili received the letter for onward delivery to the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris.
Protest in Abuja
The national chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus and other members of the NWC, the procession took off at the Legacy House as youths and women sang in solidarity with the party.
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, were displayed by the protesters who conducted themselves in orderly fashion much to the admiration of security personnel on hand to forestall a breakdown of law and order.
At the entrance gate to the federal parliament where the protesters were received by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, former Ministers of Aviation and Women Affairs, Kema Chikwe and Josephine Anenih respectively were on hand to coordinate the women as they sang the famous song, “I have decided” swapping PDP for Jesus and concluding with “No turning back.”
Presenting a letter of protest to Ekweremadu, Secondus said the leadership of the PDP decided to bring to the notice of the National Assembly what he called the assault on democracy in Ekiti State.
“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, warning that there may be no elections should there be a compromise of the will of Ekiti people on Saturday. Receiving the letter, Ekweremadu promised the cooperation of the leadership of the National Assembly to look into the issues raised in the letter even as he admonished security agents to play by the rules at all times.
According to him, the parliament would make contact with INEC and the Police to ensure the conduct of free polls, beginning on Saturday with the conduct of governorship election in Ekiti state. “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