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!

Signed,

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

Monday, 26 May 2014

APC Thugs Allegedly Attack Labour Mega Rally Again

...Also Destroy Ait Equipment and Van

The attack on the Labour Party during its mega rally recently in Ikere Ekiti is said to be the sixteenth of such since INEC lifted the ban on political campaigns for the governorship elections in Ekiti. According to a source within the party several of its supporters sustained various degrees of injury resulting from several attacks which the APC was instrumental to. The source said "On the 2nd of May 2014, scores of Labour Party supporters in Iyin Ekiti were severely injured and properties worth millions destroyed in the town by APC sponsored thugs. We had to suspend our campaign for three days to sympathize with these innocent citizens and also call the attention of the security agents to the dastardly acts of the ruling party in Ekiti. Prior to this day, we had been variously attacked at Isan, Ilupeju, Ilawe, Ipole-Iloro, Egbe, Okemesi and Itaji Ekiti amongst other places."

"The latest of these attacks was the clamping down on our supporters and the AIT crew at Ikere-Ekiti during our mega rally. This is a clear indication that the ruling party has not only declared war on the good citizens of Ekiti State but also the Nigerian media. APC thugs led by one Otunba Femi Adeleye, Special Assistant to Governor Kayode Fayemi on LG matters stormed our Mega rally venue brandishing various dangerous weapons and attacking our party supporters who had gathered to give support and demonstrate their trust in the Labour Party candidate. The crew and the Outside Broadcasting Van (OB Van) of AIT that were used for live coverage of the event were not spared by the thugs. Several other journalists who had come to cover the event also sustained various degrees of injury."

Sources explained that "The thugs arrived the venue in an APC branded Toyota Bus donated to the Kayode Fayemi campaign by Senator Anthony Adeniyi representing the Southern Senatorial district of Ekiti at the upper chamber of the National Assembly and two APC branded motor bikes. Among other properties destroyed were a Hiace bus belonging to the AIT, a Labour Party branded bus, other private vehicles belonging to our members, outside broadcasting equipment of the AIT and several other properties belonging to supporters of Labour Party. The thugs also took away personal belongings of the attacked Journalists including iPads, phones, laptops and cash which were forcefully collected from them."

Responding to the statement by the APC, the representative of the Labour Party (LP) describe it as "laughable that both the spokesperson of the JKF campaign organization and the APC would hurriedly issue press releases alleging that the journalists were attacked by Labour Party members. discerning minds want to know why the LP would attack the AIT crew that was invited to cover the mega rally for their station. The APC should also explain what the APC branded bus and motor bikes were doing at the campaign venue of the Labour Party while the rally was ongoing. It is also very important that the Kayode Fayemi Administration explain to Ekiti people how the identity card of one of his Special Assistants got to the scene of crime. In the heat of the attack, scores of APC goons were sighted patrolling the town in APC branded vehicles brandishing axes, machetes and clubs and wrecking havoc on Labour Party members including innocent bystanders. "

The increasing frequency of attacks on the Labour party campaign train as the gubernatorial election draws near calls for immediate action from security agencies in the country and well meaning indigenes of Ekiti. It has become obvious that the outgoing government of Dr. Kayode Fayemi has failed woefully to protect lives and property even as mischievous APC thugs have taken to inflicting pains and unleashing violence on Labour party members during campaign activities at every town we visit most especially places where king-pins of the Fayemi administration are indigenes. We wish to call for a collective action of the Ekiti State Traditional Council of Obas, the Nigerian Union of Journalists, the security agencies and the Presidency in view of the prevailing insecurity of lives and property in Ekiti in less than a month to the election.

We sincerely sympathize with DAAR Communications Plc, owners of AIT and its crew members for what they went through in the hands of Ekiti APC. This blatant display of political intolerance by the outgoing government of Dr Kayode Fayemi Is nothing but a sign of failure on the part of the government to safeguard lives and property. We appeal to media practitioners not to allow this act of total disrespect for human life discourage them from carrying out their lawful duties; knowing fully that the task of exposing every dictator in our nascent democracy is a task that must be done.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

APC Thugs Allegedly Attack Labour Party Members in Ilawe Ekiti

According to a report emanating from the secretariat of the Labour Party in Ekiti State, scores of thugs of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were on rampage last night in Ilawe Ekiti, Ekiti South West Local Government Area of Ekiti State and unleashed terror on Labour Party members as well as other hapless and innocent citizens leaving several wounded and maimed as well as destroying properties worth millions of naira. This obviosly was the aftermath of our very successful rally in the ancient town of Ilawe, the hometown of Yemi Adaramodu, Chief of Staff to outgoing Governor Kayode Fayemi.

The thugs led by Ayo Oriloko, Agboola Dedara Alias Small, Sunday Stronger and a certain Olu went on rampage by shooting live amunitions at people and destroying properties. As at press time, scores of indigenes of the town have had to scamper for safety with some taking refuge in the bush and even in nearby towns and villages. Some Labour Party chieftains whose houses were destroyed included Mr. Adaramodu Festus, Ilawe Ward 6 Chairman and Mr Atomeji  Kayode, Public Relations Officer, Labour Party, Ekiti South West Local Government. Others whose houses were torched and properties destroyed included Prince Ben Akinola and Mr Suyi Owolabi while Mr Sunday Ojanabo was mercilessly maimed and currently in a critical state in a private hospital in Ado Ekiti.

This incident is the latest of series of attacks and bloodletting on our members by the APC and its goons round the state. As we are wont to do, we hereby call on the Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State as well as the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to call the APC to order and ensure that the masterminds of yesterday's attack in Ilawe are brought to book, no matter how highly placed such persons are.

Unlike the sinking and fast drowning APC in Ekiti, ours is a peace loving party that is committed to winning the June 21, 2014 gubernatoral elections via the ballot box. We believe in the rule of law, hence we have so far, ensured an issue-based electioneering campaign devoid of violence and rancour but in the face of the on-going provocations by the outgoing APC - led government, we can no longer fold our arms and watch these apostles of rig and roast to continue to kill and maim our people as well as scare them away from campaign rallies. We say enough is enough and hereby warn the APC to henceforth, stop provoking our people.

For the umpteenth time, we want to state categorically that no one, not even the APC has monopoly of violence. If the law enforcement agents cannot ensure thecsecurity of lives and property of Ekiti people at rallies, then we may have no choice than to defend themselves in the future.