From: Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The face-off between Ekiti State House of Assembly and the police took a new twist yesterday when the lawmakers sent a petition to the United Kingdon, the United States of America (USA) and the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase.
They alleged incessant harassment and intimidation of its members and other government officials by the Police. This was contained in a petition they presented to Arase yesterday.
Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon Segun Adewumi, in company with Chairmen of Committee on Information and Health, Hon. Gboyega Aribisogan and Hon Samuel Omotoso respectively said the petition became necessary following constant threats by to them by government officials and party leaders in the state.
“We are here to submit a petition to the IGP, the British High Commission and the Ambassador of the United States of America to intimate them of the ugly incident happening in Ekiti State. Some persons who claimed to be policemen invaded Ekiti State and they attempted to arrest 11 members of the State House of Assembly and some Peoples Democratic Party leaders in Ekiti state. At this point, we must appreciate the IGP, who promptly ordered the policemen to leave the state. “Since then, they have been hanging around, threatening everybody, which has made it difficult for us to stay in the state. We doubt, if those police men that came to Ekiti State are actually working for the Nigeria Police…” the lawmakers said.
If they are actually members of the Nigeria police and are operating under illegal duties, we plead with the IGP to fish them out and bring them to book.
Omotosho said the police derive their power from act of the National Assembly and should, therefore, respect the rule of law. He said security agencies should be used to further deepen democracy in the country and not to be used to fester autocracy or dictatorial tendencies.
“We need to tell the whole world that, if anything that will lead to break down of law and other should happen in Ekiti state that will lead to loss of lives and property, the federal government should be held responsible.
“The state has been very peaceful under the able leadership of Governor Ayodele Fayose. They should leave vengeance to God. Their attempt at removing Governor Ayodele Fayose for speaking out against bad policies is dead on arrival”, he said.
The lawmakers further pledged loyalty to the state governor.
In Ekiti state, it is Governor Ayodele Fayose that we know and we need to let them know this. We also need to tell them that enough is enough to threats and intimidation by security agencies. “We are not supposed to be in Abuja today, we should be in Ekiti state legislating for the good people of the state but here we are now, protesting against harassment and intimidation by security agencies.
“The federal government cannot claim ignorance of the happening in the state. Despite the harassment and intimidation of government officials in the state, the human rights communities in the country have been quiet. As a human rights activist, you are not supposed to belong to any political party, but the activists we have now are members of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC). Their silence on Ekiti State issue cannot be said to be golden”, he said.