The Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, has delivered a broadcast to the people of Ekiti over the recent violence that has engulfed the state, starting with two separate attacks on Monday and Thursday at the Ekiti state high court.
He pointedly accused the in-coming governor, Ayo Fayose of being behind the crisis, and for hiring the thugs who broke into the courts and unleashed violence on judges and judicial officers in Ado Ekiti.
“I am advised incontrovertibly that thugs acting on the command of Mr. Ayo Fayose, who was also present to lend his clout to the travesty, brazenly assaulted a senior judge and urged his thugs to beat him up and tear his clothes,” said Mr. Fayemi.
According to a Premium Times report:
He said the brigands, whose action exceeded the limits of acceptable behaviour, carried out their scandalous attacks in the “full glare of law enforcement agents”.
Mr. Fayemi said when the crisis started, he was in touch with the heads of security agencies in the state and at the federal level, urging them to act fast and decisively to preserve public law and order.
Unfortunately, he said, the response of the security agencies was slow and inadequate, thereby leading to the escalation of violence in the state.
The governor said since an earlier assault on the court did not meet strong response from appropriate security agencies, the miscreants were emboldened to unleash terror during the sitting of the state Election Petition Tribunal.
He said, “Since the beginning of this development on Monday, which is unprecedented in the recent history of our state, I have been in touch with the heads of all security agencies at the state and Federal levels, urging them to act quickly and firmly in the interest of public law and order.
“It is worrisome that the slow and inadequate response has occasioned the avoidable escalation of violence in our dear state.
He urged all indigenes to work together to ensure that the state comes out stronger from the delicate situation.
“During periods of transition, vital partners in progress adopt a cautious posture, watching for the slightest portents of the possible discontinuity of the regime of peace and tranquility, amongst other factors that have made our state conducive for investors and development partners.
“We must not disrupt our very bright prospects for sustained development in our state. Considering the cases that have triggered the recent spate of violence are politically related, the political elite in our state from all disparate quarters must exercise caution.
“We must rescue our state from the precarious slippery slope that some have desperately pushed us to. We should not imperil the very people we seek to serve by resorting to violence and brigandage. One does not burn down his homestead to establish his claim of ownership or leadership,” the governor advised.
To forestall further attacks on the courts, Mr. Fayemi said he has directed the attorney general of the state to issue a legal advisory to the chief judge and all parties to existing cases in the high court and Election Tribunal to seek alternative venues for hearing such cases outside Ekiti State.
He said the state can no longer afford to witness the bizarre sight of beating up of judicial officers and wanton intimidation of lawyers and court personnel.
Since security operatives seemed to have brought the situation under control, Mr. Fayemi called on them not to relent in performing their constitutional role of protecting lives and property in the state.