EKITI State governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, and his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, on Saturday raised the alarm over plot to rig the 2018 and 2019 polls in their respective states.
Their outcry came in view of the recent redeployment of the former Commissioner of Police in Ekiti, Mr. Wilson Ilalegwu, barely three months after he resumed work at the state’s command and sudden removal of the state’s helmsman of Directorate of State Security Services (DSS)
Members of the Ekiti Unity Agenda, an umbrella body of elders in the state, also condemned the development, alleging that the redeployment of former Commissioner of Police in Kogi, Abdullah Chaffe, an indigene of Katsina State, to Ekiti had some sinister political undertones.
In a statement made available to journalists on Saturday, the group said: “We view the redeployment of former Commissioner of Police in Kogi, Abdullah Chaffe, an indigene of Katsina State. We also note with consternation the redeployment of the Director of Department of State Service (DSS) Mr Abdulfata Mohammed, another indigene from Katsina State.
“Ekiti Elders Unity Agenda believes the posting of the two men from President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state cannot be a mere coincidence considering the role of Governor Ayodele Fayose as leading voice of the opposition in the country.
“We have every sense of belief to suspect that their postings are to actualise some sinister agenda and to gag officials of the state government and probably heat up the polity to prepare ground for an emergency rule.
“Why is Ekiti the only target of reposting of security chiefs? Is it only Katsina indigenes that are in the police and DSS? The Commissioner of Police, Wilson Inalegwu, had barely spent three months in the state, so why the rush in redeploying him when the state is enjoying peace and is crime-free?
“We wish to state categorically that the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and the Director General of the DSS, Lawal Daura (another kinsman of president Buhari), should be held responsible for any crisis in the state.
“We see this as the beginning of a new plan to destabilise the state and carry out indiscriminate arrest of members of the opposition and have decided to come out to speak on behalf of other true sons and daughters of Ekiti, “ the group warns.
Also raising the alarm that he was not privy to the recent redeployment, Fayose condemned the removal of the two security heads in the state without his knowledge describing the action as undermining the office he occupies.
Fayose said as the chief security officer of the state, he was supposed to be contacted if anything like that was going to take place.
He said he was never opposed to the two security agencies performing their legitimate functions, but that in removing and re-posting of officers, respect should be accorded the constituted authority.
“A governor was elected and not appointed. But if those already posted from Buhari’s state have come to do some hatchet job in the state, they should have a rethink.
“Ekiti is very peaceful, nobody should come and destabilise this state. These are issues and steps taken ahead of 2018 governorship election. The federal government should not do anything funny, “ the govenor said.
Also, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Pastor Kola Oluwawole, condemned the removal of the two security chiefs, alleging that the act was to actualise the plan of the APC-led Federal Government to invade the Assembly and arrest the lawmakers indiscriminately.
He warned that Ekiti people and the lawmakers were fully behind the governor, adding that no human effort could break the accord.
In the same vein, Governor Wike, speaking on Saturday during a thank you visit to Etche Local Government Area frowned on the resent postings in his state “They claim they are re-deploying the 23 Electoral Officers in the state. But we have authentic intelligence report that INEC has consulted APC and they plan to post pliant electoral officers from APC states to Rivers State.
“These pliant electoral officers being handpicked from APC states are to help in rigging the elections in 2019,” he said.
Governor Wike added that no level of fraudulent postings by INEC to the state would lead to a favourable ground for rigging elections.
“If they like, let them post their fathers to Rivers State, we will resist any attempt to rig the 2019 elections in the state. Our people will remain vigilant.
“They can rig in another state, certainly not Rivers State. For us, we must elect our representatives through the democratic process. Nobody will intimidate us”, he said.
He noted that if INEC planned to reposition the electoral system, such reform must start from the top. The governor said reforms from the bottom smacks of hypocrisy.
“The head is rotten. You have to cut off the head. They should first cut off the head before coming down to the lower rung of the ladder,” Wike said adding that nobody died during the February 25, 2017 Etche/ Omuma Federal Constituency elections because security agencies acted professionally.
He added that once security agencies follow electoral guidelines, elections would hold peacefully and the actual representatives of the people will always emerge.