Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Press Release of Labour Party, North America on Ekiti Elections, Violence Attacks

The Labour Party, North America strongly condemns the attack on the Labour Party Campaign Train at Ikere Ekiti, Ekti State, Nigeria on Saturday, May 24, 2014 during which the AIT crew who went to cover the event was also attacked and matcheted. Vehicles and equipment worth millions of naira belonging to DAAR Communications Plc, owners of Raypower and AIT were destroyed and carted away.

The significance of the attack on the AIT crew is not lost on us given the effect such will have in scaring them from providing live coverage of political campaigns to let the world know what the candidates have or their people. It is instructive to note that barely one month ago, a grand campaign of the Labour Party held in Ado Ekiti was similarly given live coverage by the AIT.

Chronicling the series of attacks on the Ekiti Labour Party and its members, the Nrth American Chapter of the party recalled the attack on Hon. Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (MOB) at the grand declaration of his gubernatorial ambition in Ado Ekiti; the attack at Emure Ekiti where late Foluso Ogundare was murdered in cold blood and Mrs Beatrice Adewumi was shot at the buttocks, the attack at Ilupeju Ekiti where bullets were fired at Labour Party vehicles and prominent supporters and a known APC thug was eventually arrested by enraged indigenes at the scene; the clampdown on innocent citizens of Iyin Ekiti and wanton destruction of properties; the threat issued against MOB's Campaign Train at the outgoing governor's homestead of Isan Ekiti and the attack at Ilawe Ekiti where live ammunitions were fired at his members and vehicles among several others. In all these instances, the attacks were unprovoked.

The question then arises as to why these sustained attacks by a supposedly "progressive party" fielding a "pro-democracy activist"?

We wish to alert Nigerians that a government based on bill board advertisements with no practical achievement that resonates with the masses of Ekiti State is increasingly jittery of defeat at the polls. While the ruling party engages in self-deceit, baseless chest-thumping and false propaganda, MOB quietly runs an issue-based campaign that resonates with the people. His acceptance as a better alternative sends shivers down the spine of a government increasingly confronted with the reality of defeat. Thus, what we are seeing is a situation where a person entrusted with the security of lives and properties in the state has become erratic, irascible and emotionally unstable.

We believe that democracy thrives only on ideas and issues. Electoral campaigns provide a platform for the promotion of such ideas. Where violence is deployed to stifle a free debate of issues, democracy is the first casualty. Is it not ironic then that supposed champions of democracy who reap the full benefits of claims of state sponsored attacks on their person are now champions of violence and agents of death?

We hereby call on all lovers of democracy to call the Ekiti APC to order before we witness another descent into chaos which can herald the death of our nascent democracy. We also enjoin eminent sons of the land to check these violent tendencies of the government of Dr Kayode Fayemi. We implore our peace loving supporters to remain calm and avoid being provoked into retaliating. We assure our teeming supporters of our resolve to keep faith with them on our campaign promises.

Ekiti a gbe a o!


Kola  Onifade Esq.
General Secretary
Labour Party,
North America
May 28, 2014

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