Olajide Awe, the chairman of the All Progressives congress in Ekiti state has recounted how the military and men of the Department of State Services supervised the alleged rigging of June 22, 2014 governorship election in the state saying the situation during the poll was ‘ better imagined than experienced’.
Kayode Fayemi and Gov Ayodele Fayose
He said this on Tuesday, November 17, along 14 others who testified before the army panel of inquiry investigating the alleged involvement of officers and men of the army during 2014/15 gubernatorial and presidential elections in Osun, Rivers, Ekiti and Akwa-Ibom states.
It was learnt that army personnel, which include the famous Capt. Sagir Koli, who released a voice clip alleging that then minister of state for defence, Senator Musliu Obanikoro, rigged the election in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party, had appeared before the panel last week, The Nation reports.
The army panel was inaugurated on November 9, by the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Mechanised Division, Kaduna, Maj-Gen. Adeninyi Oyebade on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Tukur Buratai.
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Oyebade noted that the army is worried about the alleged misconduct of its officers and men before, during and after the elections.
The APC state chairman elaborating on what went on said that the June 2014 poll was more of a battle field between the soldiers and voters.
Awe explained further that his party stalwarts were prevented entry into the state for the party’s rally. He added that N30 million meant for party agents and for logistic was allegedly carted away by some soldiers whose identities were concealed with black bands.
The APC chief said that about 36,000 security personnel which included soldiers were deployed to the state on the eve of the election that harassed and arrested party leaders, members and supporters.
He went on to say that there was no election in the state adding that former governor Kayode Fayemi only accepted the result for the sake of peace.
Awe said: “Fayemi accepted the result in the name of peace. Some of this did not go down well with our people. We took the decision to accept the result for the sake of peace in the state.”
“Prior to the June 22, 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State, we were excited when told that the Army will be involved in maintaining peace. A week or so after the soldiers arrived, our expectation was short-lived.
“On Wednesday, we started seeing that things were not as we thought. Thursday, we had a rally where most of our guests, especially party bigwigs were prevented from coming into the state.
“Nearly all major roads in Ekiti were blocked by the military. The stop and search was beyond what it should be. Money meant for the party agents and other logistics were taken by the soldiers.”
Meanwhile, Lai Mohammed, the minister of information had been described by the spokesman of Governor Ayodele Fayose, Lere Olayinka as unfit to speak for any decent government saying ‘he speaks like a tout.’
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