The Town Hall Meeting organised by the Nigeria Civil Society Situationroom ahead of the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State almost came to an abrupt end on Tuesday following revelations that two former security details attached to former Governor Kayode Fayemi are now in the state heading some units of security men to help in conducting the poll.
The two men are Fayemi’s Aide-de-Camp, Adeyemi Ajayi and his Chief Security Officer, Hakeem Abiola.
They were in Ekiti State while Fayemi was in office from 2010 and 2014.
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prof. Kolapo Olusola, first raised the alarm before it was reinforced by Governor Ayodele Fayose who came to the event later.
Fayose, who said he arrived from a journey to join the discussion as requested by the Convener, Mr Clement Nwankwo of the Policy, Legal Advocacy Centre, noted that there was no way those security officers would not work to favour their former boss.
Fayose therefore demanded a clarification from the Commissioner of Police and the Director of the Department of State Services.
The Director, DSS in Ekiti State, Mrs Promise Ihenacho, confirmed the presence of the former CSO, but added that he was not heading any security team but merely a member.
She explained further that her office requested for more personnel from other states regarding preparations for the poll.
Her explanations did not go down well with participants who asked why the agency could not go for another officer.
The Alliance for Democracy candidate in the poll, Mr Ben Agboola, also faulted the presence of the two men in the state.
The AD candidate said such actions by security agencies would compromise security arrangements.
Traditional rulers present at the event, including the Attah of Ayede-Ekiti, Oba Abdulmumuni Orisagbemi and the Chairman of the Ekiiti Council of Traditional Rulers, the Oloye of Oye-Ekiti, Oba Wole Ademolaju, frowned at the presence of the men in the state and called for their immediate withdrawal.
The monarchs opined that there was no way the said officers would not want to influence things in favour of their former boss.
In his reaction, the Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State Command, Mr Bello Ahmed, said the police authorities would look into the issues raised.
Earlier, Nwankwo said his team was in Ekiti State during the 2014 governorship election, which he described as credible, free and fair and prayed that the coming one would be an improvement on that.
Speaking in the same vein, the Team Leader of the British Department for International Development, Mr Oliver Blake, said the DFID supported the 2014 poll that was credible and that it wanted a great improvement on this year’s poll.
The National Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prince Adedeji Soyebi, said the commission would ensure that the coming poll becomes a model for future elections in the country.
He allayed the fears of candidates and their parties that the process could be manipulated or compromised.
In his remarks, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Ganiyu Raji, said people should be mobilised to collect their permanent voter’s cards between this Wednesday and coming Sunday.
He said the cards would be taken to the wards for collection and that from next Monday, there would be no room to collect PVCs again.
Candidates of five political parties attended the event, while Fayemi was represented by his running mate, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi.