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Press Release Ekiti Election 2014: ‘War’ In A Peaceful State

Within the past few days in Ekiti State, there has been influx of

security agencies into Ekiti State, the Land of Honour. On Saturday,

June 21, 2014, there will be Governorship Election in the State, but

what one is witnessing is alarming. With the presence of the ‘massive

deployment’ (using the words of the Inspector General of Police, IGP,

Mohammed Abubakar) of security personnel and equipment, the atmosphere

is that of war, not election. The Civil Defence is not left out too in

the show of power. By their words and utterances, most of these

security agents are poised for war as if there is insurgency in Ekiti.

Indeed, to have such a huge number of security agents in a peaceful

State is an invasion. The security agents are prowling round the

state, and oftentimes, blaring their siren unnecessarily. Really,

seeing the menacingly looking gun carrying Soldiers, Policemen and

State Security Service Agents alone is intimidating and it is a show

of raw power. The question is, why this ‘massive deployment’ to one

State when Nigeria is faced with Boko Haram insurgency? Honestly, I am

sad and worried that this is happening at the same time that our over

200 cherished children (girls) from Chibok in Borno State are still

with the Boko Haram insurgents since their abduction in their school

on Monday, 14 April, 2014.

I would have loved a genuine action of ‘massive deployment’ to bring

back our children in our war against insurgency, rather than spending

lots of Nigeria’s resources to prosecute election in a State. Daily,

Nigerians are being killed and houses destroyed by the terrorists. A

nation that continues to chase the shadow can never develop concretely

and meaningfully. It has been reported that 12,000 policemen alone

have been deployed to Ekiti, thereby, adding to the regular ones in

the State. I hope the security personnel are provided quality food.

Whatever the case, they need to be adequately catered for by their

‘ogas at the top’ who enjoy giving orders from above.

The ‘massive deployment’ reminds one of the statement of the Vice

President, Alhaji Namadi Sambo that the Ekiti State Gubernatorial

Election was war. The words are now being translated into action. To

wage a war against the good and urbane Ekiti people is to wage war

against the whole country. I tend to believe that no responsible

parent would like his or home to collapse.

The IGP has ordered that Ekiti State borders should be closed as from

6 pm on Thursday, 19 June, 2014. Will the same be done in Osun State

in August 2014 and in 2015 Elections? The closure of Ekiti State

borders will definitely affect not just Ekiti State economy and

disrupt the people’s daily lives, it will also affect the nation’s

economy and commuters who travel to various places in Nigeria through

Ekiti State may face lots of hardships due to the IGP’s order. A

society where every person gives order at his or her whims and

caprices portends a great danger.

The order from ‘above’ not to allow Edo and Rivers States’ Governors

Adams Oshiomhole and Rotimi Amaechi to travel to Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti

State on Thursday, 19 June, 2014, for their party’s final campaign

towards the Governorship Election is a glaring example of misuse of

power. It is undemocratic, dictatorial and a step towards anarchy. Are

some Nigerians now personae non gratae in their own country? I urge

the National Assembly and sincere and purposeful patriotic Nigerians

to rise up and act and save our beloved country, Nigeria, from moving

towards the precipice. We must wake from our slumber. A siddon look

attitude will destroy our common heritage, Nigeria. Nigeria belongs to

us. It is our country and we must not mortgage it.

Nigerians with the siddon look attitude are to learn from one Pastor

Nimbohlor during the military dictatorship in Ghana, who, before his

death, recorded in a confession as follows:

First they came for the Jews, but because I was not a Jew, I did not

speak out. Then they came for the gypsies, but because I was not a

gypsy I did not speak out. Then they came for the trade unionist, but

because I was not a trade unionist, I did not speak out. And then they

came for me. But by then, there was no one left to speak for me [the

original version is attributed to Martin Niemoeller regarding the

holocaust during the Nazi dictatorship]. (Quoted in G.B.N. Ayittey’s

book, Africa Betrayed, 1993, p. 363)

This is a warning for all and sundry. A siddon look attitude can

boomerang. Not to speak out is to lose out. In the words of Winston

Churchill, ‘A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity, (on the

other hand) an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty’.

Therefore, I enjoin the Ekiti State Electorate not to be deterred by

any man-made landmines in their path to exercise their franchise. As

optimists, they are to overcome the difficulty in this unique

opportunity and walk to the polling booths to vote. I urge them to

remain prayerful, focused, calm and law-abiding. They must not be

intimidated with the presence of the security agents. Not only that,

they must ensure that their votes are counted. In this regard, I

encourage those with camera phones to record the proceedings in their

various polling booths and the happenings in their communities.

On Saturday, 21 June, 2014, come rain, come sunshine, the Electorate

must endure and sacrifice. They are to be determined to vote for a

credible and worthy ambassador of Ekiti State who will promote Good

Governance at all levels as Ekiti State Governor. Let us reflect

deeply on yesterday and plan well today for a successful tomorrow. A

mistake made today tends to have negative effect on tomorrow. Today is

the anniversary of yesterday, while tomorrow is the celebration of

today. A word is enough for the wise. God bless Ekiti State. God bless

Nigeria.

Most Rev. Felix Femi Ajakaye

Bishop of Ekiti.

AmarSim Associations Development Consultants

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