MURIC On Ekiti Election: Militarisation Makes Free, Fair Election Impossible (Full Text Of Press Release)

The gubernatorial election is being held in Ekiti State today under a coercive over-militarisation. It has been alleged that about 2, 860 mobile police officers and men, another 310 mobile policemen drawn from within the state, at least about 2,280 officers and men of the Nigerian Army, 1,800 agents of the State Security Service, 15,000 Civil Defence officers and men and 12,340 regular police are currently in Ekiti State. This brings the total number of security personnel in Ekiti for the purpose of the election to 36,590.

The Muslim Rights Concern is flabbergasted by this open invasion and flagrant display of Federal power. It is nothing short of Gestapo-style treatment. We strongly condemn this attempt at arm-twisting the liberty-loving and democracy-inclined people of Ekiti State into accepting doctored results of a gubernatorial election which the ruling party is hell-bent on turning into its favour.
 
Insiders know what happens when a military siege is laid on the electorate. We have little confidence in the outcome of such an election. People should be allowed to freely choose their favourite candidates but this cannot be possible if they are being intimidated by a superfluous presence of security agents who are armed to the teeth.
 
The fact that Governor Amaechi and other leaders of the APC were turned back by stern-looking soldiers when they attempted to join other party faithfuls in the last leg of campaigns in Ekiti speaks volumes about the intention of the ruling party and what it intends to use the security agents for. We recall that President Jonathan and his vice were in the same state with a retinue of ministers to campaign for the Peoples’ Democratic Party. Why then is the Federal Government using soldiers and policemen to turn back governors and chieftains of the opposition party?
 
This is symptomatic of a serious lack of level playing ground for all. Ekiti State has been turned into an enlarged Animal Farm where ‘four legs may be good, but two legs better’.
 
MURIC faults the silence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the face of these outrageous maneuvers. INEC as an impartial electoral referee should have spelled out the rules capable of ensuring free campaigns and an electoral environment devoid of Hitleric invasion.
 
For the records, the Jonathan administration will go down as the least tolerant to the opposition party in post-independence Nigeria. Aircrafts ferrying members of the opposition are seized at will. Soldiers threaten to shoot governors. Policemen block the entrance to governors’ offices and compel them to make a detour. MURIC is constrained to conclude that Nigeria’s democracy in the present dispensation is a sham, a charade, a sheer hocus pocus.
 
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
 

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