The party also wants the killer of a supporter brought to justice
The All Progressives Congress, APC, has asked the police to immediately launch a comprehensive investigation into the violence unleashed by armed police officers on members of the party during a peaceful procession in Ado Ekiti last Sunday.
The Ekiti State government had alleged that men of the State Police Command, led by the state Commander of the Mobile Police Unit, Gabriel Selekere, last Sunday shot dead a member of the APC and injured many as they dispersed a peaceful rally held by some members of the party in Ado- Ekiti.
The government in a statement posted on its official website noted that police officers led by Mr. Selekere also held Governor Kayode Fayemi hostage for about 45 minutes at the Ejigbo junction.
The state government also accused the police of firing tear gas on the governor’s car, as well as disarming and arresting one of the governor’s security aides.
The APC members, according to the state government, were “sweeping the state capital” at Okeyinmi when they were ambushed by some People’s Democratic Party, PDP thugs and armed police officers along the popular Matthew Junction in Ado- Ekiti at about 8:42 a.m.
PREMIUM TIMES, however, understands, the APC loyalists were “sweeping away the footprints of President Goodluck Jonathan” after the president left the state where he handed the PDP flag to its governorship candidate, Ayo Fayose.
The state governorship election in Ekiti will hold on June 21.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party also demanded that the killer of one of the peaceful marchers be identified and brought to justice, as no one had the right to take the life of another for whatever reason.
It said investigating the violence and punishing those responsible would send a clear signal to other trigger-happy and partisan police personnel that the Force would not tolerate such acts of brigandage
“It will also go a long way in reducing the tension that has been heightened in the state by the senseless police action, ahead of the June 21st governorship election in the state,” APC said.
The party said several days after the clearly-unprovoked attack on defenceless citizens who were only carrying brooms, singing and dancing, Nigerians have continued to wonder why the police, who are paid to protect citizens, will turn around to unleash violence and mayhem on them.
It warned that failure to unravel the cause of that irresponsible, unprofessional, shocking and obviously-premeditated action by the police may send the wrong signal to the people that those paid to protect them would not do so but would rather turn their weapons against the people.
“When the people lose confidence in the police or other security agencies because of the unpunished actions of a few hooligans in uniform, the society risks descending into anarchy,” APC warned.
The party said the police must be neutral, professional and above board in the discharge of their duties, especially ahead of the two key elections this year and the general elections next year.
“The police should not play politics with their profession. They should not support one party against the other, even when induced to do so. The moment the police descend into the arena of politics, as they have done in Ekiti, they lose the authority to carry out their professional duties. This is why we are calling on the police authorities to move urgently to probe the police-instigated violence in Ekiti State, identify those behind the show of shame and their motives, and promptly bring them to justice. That will be in line with the global best practices,” it said.
APC again appealed to its members and supporters in Ekiti to remain calm, despite the provocations, and ensure that the forthcoming election is conducted in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity.