Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Police Command, yesterday, deployed anti-riot policemen to protect facilities at the Ekiti State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), following a rumour that some contractors executing projects with the agency were planning a protest.
The policemen were detailed to the premises with three vans and positioned in strategic locations around the SUBEB compound located on Stadium Road, Okesa area of Ado Ekiti.
Rumour had been rife on social media on Tuesday night that the Ekiti SUBEB contractors were planning a protest over huge debt owed them due to alleged flagging of the SUBEB’s account, but there was no such protest whatsoever.
The rumour had brewed tension and to prevent breakdown of law and order, Commissioner of Police, Asuquo Amba, quickly mobilised his men to safeguard the agency.
When contacted, Police Public Relations Officer, Caleb Ikechukwu, said: “We took proactive action to prevent government property from being vandalised.
“Police, as a responsible body, must ensure there is no breach of public peace. Though, we were told there was no protest, but we still have to take the action to safeguard the place and the staff.”
Ekiti SUBEB Contractors Chairman, Adeleye Bankole, debunked the social media report that they were at loggerheads with the state government over huge debt owed them.
Bankole urged the people to discountenance the rumour, saying they never planned to hold any protest against the government.
He said the contractors’ body, which he superintends over just emerged from a meeting with the SUBEB management team, led by its Chairman, Francisca Aladejana, discussing the development of education in the state.
“We were here today for a meeting with SUBEB management and became surprised when we were told that the police were deployed because of our planned protest.
“This is a lie from the pit of hell. Even when we had it so rough under the last administration in terms of payments for contracts we executed, we never resorted to violence.
“As contractors, we can’t protest against a government that is giving us our means of livelihood. Again, we are committed to the development of education and we can’t do anything that will threaten the development of education in our state.
“What we are concerned about is to see infrastructure development in our schools,” he said.