The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ekiti State, Chief Olajide Awe has noted that the role played by the military during the June 22, 2014 governorship election in the state can be “better imagined than experienced,” stressing that it was a battlefield between the soldiers and voters..
Awe alongside 14 others on Tuesday testified before the Army panel investigating the involvement of its officers in the 2014/2015 governorship and presidential elections in Ekiti, Osun , Rivers and Akwa-Ibom states.
DAILY POST recalls that the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 1 Mechanised Division, Kaduna, Maj-Gen. Adeninyi Oyebade, who is also the President of the panel, had on November 9, inaugurated the panel on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.
Gen Oyebade, during the inauguration, stated that the Army was concerned about the alleged misconduct perpetrated by its officers and men before, during and after the elections.
Awe while testifying before the panel, recounted that prior to the election, the party’s bigwigs, including then Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, were prevented from entering the state for the APC rally, while the aircraft with which the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, was to use in flying in, was grounded in Benin on the orders of the “power-that-be.”
He noted that some soldiers who concealed their names and tags with black band confiscated over N30m earmarked by the party for the prosecution of election.
Awe also stated that 36,000 security personnel, including soldiers, invaded the state on the eve of the election, harassed and arrested party leaders, members and supporters.
He told the panel that the whereabouts of the Director-General of the Fayemi Campaign Organisation, Bimbo Daramola, who escaped arrest in Ire, was still unknown even after the election.
He further stressed that no election was held in the state, adding that former Governor Kayode Fayemi accepted the outcome of that election for peace to reign in the state.
According to APC Chairman, Fayemi while accepting the outcome of the polls said,“look, if we say we cannot accept the election result, we will put the lives of our people in danger”.
“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.”
On the issue of alleged killings by the military, Awe said there was none but added that in his village, several houses were razed, 15 vehicles destroyed and several people kidnapped.
“Some of these kidnapped victims were later found at Sagamu, Ogun State, with bruises on their bodies.
“Sir, there was no reports of anybody killed, but of robbery, harassment and intimidation,” he added.
Awe however accused operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS and the police of helping in rigging the election, alleging that, “DSS did a lot havoc because its officials were close to the people”.
He explained that while the DSS officials wore hoods, the soldiers covered their name tags.
“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,” Awe said.
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