APC chieftains including the national leader, Bola Tinubu and the national chairman Adams Oshiomole were in attendance.
The Special Adviser to the President on Foreign Relations and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri, Secretary to the Federal Government, Boss Mustapha, Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Dambazau (rtd), and Minister of Labour Chris Ngige and South West governors were also in attendance.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lai Mohammed, on Thursday disclosed plans of the All Progressives Congress, which lost in the just concluded Ekiti governorship elections, to head to Court for various infractions against its members, during the elections.
“We are going to challenge all these infractions in court so that it would be clear we are not making anything up,” he said.
Appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Mr Mohammed listed various offences for which the party was going to seek redress for in Court, including the detainment of Governor Chibuike Amaechi and other APC governors on the day of Fayemi’s last rally.
He also mentioned the arrest of some APC leaders the night before the election, as one of the issues for which they seek redress, noting that they had no problems with the outcome of the election, but with the process.
“Two weeks before the election, a peaceful rally by the APC was forcibly dispersed which led to the death of an individual,” he said, adding that there was no investigation into the matter.
He also mentioned that “a vehicle was intercepted containing 200 boxes of electoral material which INEC discredited as waste material” and there was yet to be an explanation for a reported aircraft carrying suspicious material, which landed in Ekiti.
Mohammed explained that “what happens before, during elections determines if the nation’s democracy is being deepened.”
However, the APC spokesman said that the Party had no intention to contest the result of the election and it was standing by Fayemi’s decision, unless there was compelling evidence to necessitate such a move.
“We have gone beyond the issue of who lost or who won the election”, he said, but insisted that the over-militarisation of the process created fear in the electorate which may have caused many APC loyalists to stay clear of the election.
“We have absolutely no problem or issue with law enforcement agencies in keeping peace” he said, but noted that it was a “selective keeping of peace” which was against the opposition. He claimed that members of the APC, as well as some accredited journalists had been “deported” and “forcefully removed” on the day of the election.
He further insisted that certain incidents, if not corrected, would not give the desired type of democracy.
On the emergence of Ayo Fayose as governor-elect, Mohammed said that the concession of defeat by Fayemi and the APC was evidence of the opposition’s democratic nature.
“By this we have shown the world that we are true democrats and that election is not a do or die affair”, he said, maintaining that the Party had respected the wish of the people.
On his part, Chairman of the Lagos Chapter of the PDP, Tunji Shelle, described allegations of the APC spokesman as “strange”.
According to him, security personnel were professional in their conduct.
Shelle, a second guest on the programme, while speaking about the election, commended the outgoing governor, Kayode Fayemi, for sportsmanship but noted that the act was not first of its kind.
“Our own candidate in Lagos during the last election congratulated Fashola in the same vein as Fayemi did.”
He noted that Fayemi had prepared well but somebody else prepared better, adding that the last time governance was taken away from PDP, it was through “judicial rascality”, since Ekiti was a PDP state.
On reports of the ejection of certain people allegedly lodged in hotels to perpetuate electoral crime, Shelle said that the security personnel did a good job of evading any unwanted occurrence. They were there to disrupt the electoral process, he insisted.
He, however, defended the presence of the Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro and Minister of Police Affairs, Jelil Adesiyan in Ekiti despite the fact that security operatives did not permit APC governors.
According to him, they had been lodged in Akure, and had gone into Ado-Ekiti briefly, on private matters, as PDP members and were not on a mission to influence the election.
A former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Babatunde Ogala, on Wednesday, stated that the plan of the outgoing governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, to create more local governments before handing over to governor-elect, Ayo Fayose is not out of place.
“The fact that elections have been held does not mean governance has stopped,” he said, insisting that “Fayemi remains the governor until sometime in October and that he can still take executive actions, even a day before his tenure expires”.
He maintained that Fayemi’s plan was not wrong “if the creation or proposed creation of local government is going through due process of the law”.
He expressed these views while on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.
While commenting on the outcome of the Ekiti elections, Ogala expressed surprise, because “one wasn’t expecting the election to go the way it went,” especially when the reported performance of the incumbent governor was considered.
He noted that the circumstance in which the governor-elect had left office when he was governor made it “most unlikely” that he would win.
Mr Ogala who said he could not tell if the APC had prepared well enough and not underrated their strongest opponent, noted that “in warfare, you never underrate any opponent”.
He further emphasised that the most important thing to note would be that “Ekiti has spoken”, saying “it is a lesson for all of us”.
He described Fayemi’s concession of defeat and willingness to work with Fayose, as the “act of statesmanship” which is a lesson for the country in the electoral process.
However, Ogala said that there was no doubt that Fayemi had his misgivings about the elections but had shown that “the State should be more important than our personal, individual interests”.
He further commended Fayose’s reaction to the situation, praising his decision to work with all the governorship candidates in the best interest of the people.
On Fayemi’s bid to create more local governments before leaving office, Ogala said he doubts that Fayose would “frown at any process that brings development to the State”.
A day after Mr Ayo Fayose of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was declared winner of the Ekiti State election, the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has congratulated the people of Ekiti for voting in a peaceful and credible election.
In a statement signed by the group’s Publicity Secretary, Kunle Famoriyo, they expressed hope that the new trend in the governorship election in Ekiti sets a landmark to how elections should go.
The group applauded the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and the Governor-elect, Mr Ayodele Fayose, for the rare show of sportsmanship they displayed during the election and after the announcement of result.
The statement read: “We thank Governor Fayemi for courageously accepting the wish of the people of Ekiti whom he has served diligently and fervently in the last four years. ARG is convinced that if we must develop our land, we need an administration like that of Governor Fayemi.
“We also thank the Governor-elect, Mr Fayose for his magnanimity in victory and the promise he has made to continue building on the foundation laid by Dr. Fayemi.
“We welcome this promise of continuity in governance and we encourage him to use his tenure for the wellbeing of Ekiti people and to sustain the policies of his predecessor, including the economic integration projects of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, which harnesses the collaborative efforts of all the governments and people of South-western zone to uplift the quality of life of the Yoruba people.”
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated the governor-elect of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, following his victory at the governorship polls in Ekiti, which held on Saturday.
In a State House release by Special Adviser to the President, (Media & Publicity), Reuben Abati, the President described the win as an “overwhelming victory” for Fayose, a member of the People’s Democratic Party.
The President also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as well as security agents and the citizens of Ekiti “for the successful and peaceful conduct of the elections in keeping with the present administration’s avowed commitment to ensure elections in all parts of Nigeria are progressively freer, fairer and more credible”.
“As Mr. Fayose readies himself to assume office in fulfillment of the clearly expressed wish of his people, President Jonathan urges him to be humble and magnanimous in victory and commit himself to forming an administration that will work for the advancement of the interests of all Ekiti people irrespective of their political affiliations or loyalties,” the release read.
President Jonathan further called on Mr. Fayose to regard his second chance to serve as Governor of Ekiti State as “a sacred mandate from God Almighty and his people which he must discharge with immense dedication, wisdom and vigour to achieve a much more rapid pace of socio-economic development in Ekiti State for the benefit of its people who resoundingly reaffirmed their trust in his leadership by voting overwhelmingly for his election yesterday (Saturday)”.
“The President assures Mr. Fayose that the Federal Government will give all necessary support and assistance to his incoming administration and cooperate fully with him in furtherance of the present administration’s objective of significantly improving the living conditions of Nigerians in all parts of the country.
He wished “Mr. Fayose continued good health and a very successful second tenure as governor of Ekiti State”.
Civil society groups in Nigeria have urged international organisations, particularly the UN Human Rights Council and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to punish whoever may be involved in violent act before, during or after the elections and to monitor closely the violation of human rights.
The groups are the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Women Advocates and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) and Human Rights Advancement, Development and Advocacy Centre (HURIDAC).
The SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, on behalf of the group stated that if drastic actions were not taken by the police and security agencies, the situation would worsen during the election since even before the elections, there had been violent attacks and killings.
He pointed out that every Nigerian particularly Ekiti voters should be able to exercise their voting rights since the election would enable the voters to elect candidates of their choice and the only way they could influence governmental decision was through their votes.
“The law enforcement agencies will be held responsible for extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, unlawful destruction of private property and other serious human rights violations that occur around the Ekiti election,” the groups said.
They added that following the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 which recognises the role of free and fair elections called on INEC to ensure credibility in the electoral processes so that the outcome would reflect the people’s choices.
Recalling the bad record of past elections that have led to the ongoing violations and denial of citizens right to participate in government, the group further urged the Inspector General of Police to ensure full and effective justice to the victims and try to stem the abuses and violence leading up to the election.
According to the groups, strict compliance with Nigeria’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights should be followed and arrests should be made with necessary court-ordered warrants. They also stressed the need for detainees held to recognise places of detention with prompt access to lawyers and family and timely production before relevant court.
They called on the Nigerian government to uphold the citizens’ right to liberty and security. “The government should ensure that no one is arbitrarily deprived of his or her life, or subjected to torture and to thoroughly and promptly investigate serious violations of human rights such as the right to life or freedom from torture, prosecute those implicated by the evidence and, if their guilt is established following a fair trial, impose proportionate penalties,” the groups said.
The Ekiti state police has charged the Mr Funminiyi Afuye, with other 11 members of the House with terrorism charges after an assault on Governor Kayode Fayemi’s convoy in Ado Ekiti, on June 8.
The police had on June 8 made reports on the attack of Fayemi’s convoy following the disrupted rally of All Progressives Congress (APC) members, which led to the death of Peter Akin while many others sustained varying degrees of injury.
The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Oloye Torugbene, of the Legal/Prosecution Section of the Force Headquarters in Abuja, signed the charges and preferred three counts of terrorism acts against the accused persons.
In the three count, the police alleged that the accused persons conspired among themselves to commit an act of terrorism under sections 1(2)(d), 2(2)(h) and 17 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2013 and committed the act of terrorism by shooting and using dangerous weapons/devices .
The prosecution also alleged that the accused persons are Idowu Aladejobi, Afunye Jide, Anisulowo Kayode, Azeez Suleiman, Ajayi Idowu, Babadi Ajay , Abiodun Omoniyi, Oyedapo Olaoluwa, Sunday Olalere, Dapo David, Akinyemi Tayo, and others said to be at large “incited, promised and induced other persons to commit an act of terrorism”, actions which the police alleged constituted an act of terrorism.