Emmanuel Ani, Ado-Ekiti
Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has condemned the call for the postponement of the Edo State governorship election by the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Police, saying “it is obvious that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is challenged and afraid of losing the election and the party is using the federal government security agencies to cause a postponement of the election so as to be able to perfect its new rigging plans.”
The governor, who raised the alarm that “democracy is in danger” under the APC government, said; “obviously, within two years of APC government, Nigeria is in both economic and political recession and this should worry all true lovers of the country.”
Reacting to the DSS and Police position that the election be postponed because of security threat, Governor Fayose, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said he was worried that “democracy in Nigeria has now graduated from inconclusive elections to postponement of elections in other to return APC candidates at all cost.”
He said; “Within two year, the APC government not only destroyed the economy of Nigeria, it has destroyed the legacy of free, fair and credible electoral process bequeathed on the country by the PDP.”
The governor said; “The questions Nigerians must ask the APC-led federal government are; what security threat can overcome over 50,000 security personnel in an election holding in just one out of the 36 States in Nigeria? If election must be postponed in just one State because of security threat, what will then happen in 2019 when elections will be conducted in the entire country?
“Another question is; were they unaware of the security challenge when President Muhammadu Buhari went to Edo State to campaign for the APC yesterday?
“No doubt, this is a game being played by the APC because it has become so imminent that the party cannot win the election if it is held on Saturday as scheduled.
“The postponement is obviously meant to give room for the APC to perfect a new rigging strategy and lovers of democracy in Nigeria should begin to see how the APC aims at perpetuating itself in power beyond 2019 even now that the party has been rejected by Nigerians.”
It would be recalled that both the Police and DSS, had, Wednesday, urged INEC to postpone the election scheduled to hold on Saturday, September 10 citing ‘security reports’.
A statement earlier signed by both security organisations and signed by Dan Awunah, Force Spokesman for the Police and Garba Abdullahi for the DSS read: “Nigeria Police and Department of State Services, wish to inform the general public that credible intelligence availed the agencies indicate plans by insurgent/extremist elements to attack vulnerable communities and soft targets with high population during the forthcoming Sallah celebrations between 12th and 13th September, 2016. Edo State, is amongst the States being earmarked for these planned attacks by the extremist elements.
“The public would recall that similar threats were issued during the May Labour Day and Democracy Day celebrations as well as the Ed-el-fitr holidays in July, 2016. However, the security agencies were able to decisively disrupt and thwart the insurgents’ plan. In the same vein, while election is important, the security agencies cannot allow the peace of the country to be disrupted, and we will continue to remain vigilant and ensure consolidation of the successes gained in the current counter-insurgency fight.
“It is in regard of these that we are appealing to INEC which has the legal duty to regulate elections in the country to consider the need for possible postponement of the date of the election in Edo State in order to enable security agencies deal decisively with the envisaged terrorist threats.
“While the Police/DSS remain mindful of the inconveniences this request may cause the various political stakeholders, it is our strong resolve that security agencies need not be distracted from ensuring a peaceful and secured Nigeria now and always.
“Members of the public are hereby assured that the security agencies will continue to remain focused and committed and are being enjoined to remain vigilant. The attention of the Security Agencies should be drawn to any observed unusual movements or actions by groups or individuals in their neighbourhoods.”