The All Progressives Congress (APC) has stated that its governors are being prevented by security operatives apparently acting on “orders from above” from travelling to Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital on Thursday, for the party’s last lap of campaign just before the state governorship election holding this Saturday.
In a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC said at least three Governors – Adams Oshiomhole of Edo, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers and Rabiu Kwankwanso of Kano – have so far been prevented from making the trip.
However, Governors Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha of Ogun and Imo States respectively, were among party stalwarts that beat the security blockade to grace the grand finale of the party’s campaign rally for its candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who is seeking re-election for a second term.
In the statement, Mohammed disclosed that the helicopter that was to ferry Gov. Oshiomhole from Benin City to Ado-Ekiti was refused permission to take off from the Benin Airport, while the plane that was flying Gov. Kwankwanso to Akure, Ondo State, was denied permission to land.
According to the statement, while the plane carrying Gov. Amaechi actually landed in Akure, his convoy was stopped at the border between Ondo and Ekiti States and ordered to turn back, because he would not be allowed to reach Ado-Ekiti.
The party said while Gov. Amaechi’s convoy was being detained in order to force him to turn back, the convoys of the Ministers of Defence (Musiliu Obanikoro) and Police Affairs (Abduljelili Adesiyan) came and were allowed to pass through to Ado-Ekiti.
“These acts are illegal and definitely not in line with the Electoral Act, which stipulates that campaign for the election will only end at midnight on Friday.
“It also represents a manipulation of the electoral process when all the candidates will not be allowed a level playing field to campaign for the election. There is no clearer manifestation of the federal government’s allergy to free, fair, transparent and violence-free election than this”, the party said.
The opposition party condemned in the strongest terms the abuse of national institutions and the abuse of power, which these actions represent, especially because only the Federal Government has control over these institutions, including the security agencies that have now become a tool in the hands of an increasingly-desperate government of the day.
“Several months ago, we warned that Nigeria under the watch of President Goodluck Jonathan was sliding into fascism and we were pilloried in certain quarters for daring to make such a statement. Today, we have sadly been vindicated.
“Not even in the worst days of the abhorrent military dictatorship were things done this brazenly, with citizens being denied their fundamental rights of free movement, free assembly and free expression, all because of the desperation by the ruling party to win elections at all costs.
“We therefore call on all good people of Nigeria and indeed all the country’s international friends to speak out against what is happening before things get out of hand. If democratically-elected Governors could be so shabbily treated, despite the high office they occupy, what will happen to ordinary Nigerians in the hands of an increasingly-fascist government?” APC queried