The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, Mr Jide Awe, says Dr Kayode Fayemi was a target of shooting during the party’s rally on Friday.
The APC was holding its takeoff campaign for the July 14 governorship election at its secretariat in Ado-Ekiti when what appeared to be an accidental discharge occurred.
A former member of the House of Representatives, Opeyemi Bamidele, and another party faithful were wounded by an armed policeman as a result of the incident.
Although the police authorities in the state have confirmed the incident, they said they have begun an investigation into the shooting.
The party chairman, however, told Channels Television that the shooting was aimed at Fayemi, the party’s governorship candidate, while Bamidele coincidentally fell victim of the shot.
He also said the man who fired the shot was dressed in a mobile police uniform, stressing that the former Reps member was walking with the former minister.
“When he shot at the crowd, I believe sincerely that he (the police) aimed at Dr Kayode Fayemi but narrowly, he (Fayemi) was pushed by somebody walking behind him,” Mr Awe revealed during a telephone interview on Politics Today.
“Opeyemi Bamidele was equally very near him and the shot hit him. But I can say authoritatively that he’s not badly hit, and he is recovering as we are talking,” he added.
The APC chairman, who witnessed the incident, noted that those at the scene thought the shot was fired by an overzealous officer who was trying to pay respect to the former minister.
He said was just returning from the hospital and proceeding to another medical facility where the other gunshot victim was being attended to.
Asked how sure he was about his claim that Fayemi was the target of the shooting, Jide insisted, “To a reasonable extent because he and Bamidele were walking together but narrowly, he was pushed by somebody behind him (although not intentional).
The incident happened two days after Dr Fayemi resigned his position from President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet as the Minister of Solid Minerals Development.
He resigned two weeks and some days after the former minister won the APC rescheduled primary election which held on May 12.
Early this morning, members of the All Progressives Congress led by some of their leaders including the Governor Kayode Fayemi were out on some form of campaign when they were allegedly attacked.
Residents say they heard gun shots, but details on the cause of the violence may still be sketchy at this time. Police men in the state are said to be around at the scene, while Channels TV staff at the scene got injured in the process of the skirmish.
Hon. Oyetunde Ojo from the House Of Representatives and Senator Ojudu were also at the scene.
The state government has called for the immediate transfer of the commissioner of police Ekiti state command, Felix Uyanna and the O.C MOPOL.
Addressing journalists in Ado Ekiti, the chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Ekiti State, Jide Awe said for the interest of peace in the forthcoming governorship election, the president must intervene fast.
A social political movement of the All Progressives Congress ( APC ) in Ekiti State, Obirinkete has been inaugurated in the state to further strengthen and prepare the women of the state for the forthcoming governorship polls to ensure Governor Kayode Fayemi is re-elected into office.
Addressing the over 7,000 women at the Olukayode Stadium in Ado Ekiti, the Chief Hostess and the wife of the state governor, Bisi Fayemi said ‘Obirinkete’ is a political and social movement devoid of political affiliation but are very passionate about the continuation of the administration of Dr Kayode Fayemi.
Mrs Fayemi was joined, during the inauguration, by the wives of some APC controlled states. Those present include Olufunso Amosun ( Ogun State), Abimbola Fashola (Lagos State), Florence Ajimobi ( Oyo State), Sherifat Aregbesola ( Osun State) and Hajia Salamatu Al-Makura( Nasarawa State).
Speaking with journalists at the event, the wife of Lagos State governor, Abimbola Fashola, advised the women of Ekiti to ensure adequate protection of their votes during the governorship election.
The governor of the state, Dr Kayode Fayemi also stated in his remarks what his administration has done for the women in the past 3 years including the equal opportunity bills as well as the victim protection mechanism put in place for the women.
The Interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Jide Awe, also told the journalists that the inauguration of the ‘ Obirinkete in Ekiti politics is a welcome development.
Members of the union are drawn from various professional bodies and associations, artisans, and APC female loyalists across the 16 local government areas of the state.
In preparation for the Ekiti State governorship polls, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned against multiple registration.
The warning is coming after some concerned elders in the state alleged that most of the permanent voters’ card machines brought into the state by (INEC) were not in good condition.
One of the elders who spoke to reporters in Ado- Ekiti, Mr Jide Awe, alleged that most of the machines sent to Ekiti State by the electoral body were not working and that the people who are to handle the machines were not capable.
The State’s resident Electoral Commissioner, Halilu Pai, confirmed that all the machines were perfectly working and that the operators were well trained and warned the electorates against double registrations.
The issues of double registration was part of the irregularities that were pointed out in the Anambra governorship election in lat 2013.
The electoral commission had assured Nigerians that it was working hard to ensure that the issue would not reoccur in the Ekiti State election. The commission had begun issuing a permanent voters’ card to voters in Ekiti State as a means of checking possibilities of double registration.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, has charged all the political parties in Ekiti state to abide by the rules and regulations stipulated by the commission to ensure a free and fair election in the forthcoming Ekiti governorship polls.
Prof Jega also assured the people of the state that the commission will do all it can to conduct a free and fair election.
Prof. Jega, who was speaking during a meeting with politicians, security officials and past governors, also warned that all political sign posts and billboards should be removed until 90 days to the election.
The INEC Resident Commissioner in the state, Mr Hussaini Pai promised that the forth coming governorship poll will be one of the best elections conducted so far in the country.
Also speaking with journalists after the event, former speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Aminu Bello Masari appealed to all politicians to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner.so that peace can be achieved.
Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Mr Jide Awe, in his remarks commended INEC for promising to ensure a free and fair election but was also quick to urge officials of the electoral body to be sincere in their conduct just as promised.
The meeting, however, turned awry as politicians disagreed on who would ask the first question during the question and answer session.
Stakeholders in the politics of Ekiti State have expressed confidence that the 2014 Governorship Election in the state would not have any form of confusion witnessed in Anambra State, as the performance of the State Governor guarantees success.
The Interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ekiti State, Jide Awe, alongside a House of Representatives Member from Ekiti State, Bimbo Daramola, made the declaration on Channels Television’s weekend breakfast programme ‘Sunrise’ where they discussed the 2014 election in the state.
Also on the programme was a member of the editorial board of The Nation Newspapers, Bolade Omonijo, who was unsurprisingly neutral, expressed fears about the coming elections, not just in Ekiti State but in Nigeria.
Citing the words of his lecturer back in the university, who likened Nigerian politics to a situation of warfare, Omonijo regretted that since then till 2014 nothing had changed, and that can be blamed on the leaders who have made people to lose confidence in the process having cast many votes that did not count.
Making reference to the Anambra State election of 2013, he said he hoped that the leadership of Ekiti State would make the difference to ensure that the Anambra state election scenario does not occur.
Referring to an earlier ‘Sunrise’ interview with the State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, where the Governor spoke about his antecedents and the value he has placed on integrity, Omonijo believed that the people managing Ekiti have something to offer and with their antecedents and pedigree they would be more mindful of the points they want to make to the people rather than get desperate at the polls.
Daramola, also towing the line of depending on personal antecedents and integrity as the tool for political success, stated that what his party, the APC, has going for them in Ekiti is their verifiable performances in all sectors.
Asides commending the State Governor for his performance, he also reeled out his activities as a Member of the House of Representatives, with emphasis on his commitment to service and his fulfillment of pre-election promise to do his best for his people as the driving force behind his confidence. He said: “I know the mandate I carry does not belong to me”
Daramola, speaking about Nigerian politics, decried the gap between the leadership and the followership; he stated that as long as the political leaders remain far away from the people they govern “we are always going to have issues…so we need to close the gap.”
He blamed the gap between both parties as being the reason why money becomes a major feature during campaigns. He explained that when the electorates are aware that they would not matter to a politician when he gets to office, they begin to have the mindset of grabbing what they can before the election when they seem to matter.
This, he said, is why politicians become desperate and willing to do anything to manipulate the elections, as they are aware that they do not have the support of the people. He however assured that the APC in Ekiti State would have no reason to become desperate as they have earned the people’s support.
He vowed that he would stand down from the House of Representatives if any of the developmental achievements claimed by Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, were found to be untrue.
Daramola also blamed the purported failure of the 2013 elections in Anambra and Delta states on lack of transparency from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. He posited that the struggle for power always leads to attrition which also leads to friction, but power means many things to different people and thus the approaches would differ, if only INEC could be fair in its duty.
The Interim Chairman of the APC in Ekiti State, Jide Awe, also corroborated Daramola’s views about the election.
He said that the aims and objectives of any political party are to participate effectively in elections, which is like the examination to assess their performance, assuring that as far as the 2014 was concerned “we are well prepared for the election” adding “this is not our first election.”
He said that what the Governor has done in the state has made the job easier for the party, so “we only need to mobilize people at the grassroots to pay back the government for the good job they have done, there is no way the opposition can override us.”
He said that the 3years of APC leadership in Ekiti State has been far better than the 7 previous years of the opposition in the state, boasting that “we are sure the people will reward us”, adding that for the APC to maintain its strength in the state, it would only need to maintain its current leadership.
Awe also expressed reservation about the electoral commission, INEC, but said that the APC is making efforts under the aegis of Congress of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP in collaboration with other agencies to ensure safe and fair elections in the state.
While Omonijo also expressed concerns about security, Daramola warned that the next 6 months would be the most important for Ektiti state to move forward. He appealed to the Chairman of the INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, to be transparent.
The Party Chairman, Jide Awe called on INEC, Police and the people to be open. He emphasized that INEC should ensure that voter registration is done well and the list of voters are displayed on time as experience should come to bear in this coming election.
Daramola sounded again that the election would be won on the basis of performance and Governor Fayemi has delivered that.