JOHNSON OJO, Ado Ekiti
A Coalition of Independent National Electoral Commission accredited observers has described the reported police attack on Governor Ayodele Fayose as a disgrace to democracy.
Riot-policeman had on Wednesday fired canisters of tear gas to disperse a crowd of supporters of Peoples Democratic Party, including the governor and his deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola.
The governor claimed that the was slapped and beaten by some policemen who hit him with the butt of a gun.The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Operations, Mr. Habilal Joshak, while justifying why the crowd was dispersed told journalists that PDP did not obtain permit for the rally.
“We are not going to allow any unauthorised rally that can trigger violence in the state. You can see that the state is tensed up.“As law enforcement agent, we must be proactive and take actions that can prevent crisis rather than trying to quell it after it might have broken out,” Joshak said.
But addressing journalists on Thursday in Ado Ekiti on behalf of a Coalition of 15 INEC observer groups, the Executive Director of Centre for Credible Leadership and Citizen Awareness, Dr. Nwambu Gabriel, said police should have used other means to handle the situation instead of using tear gas and live bullets.
He said, “As part of our pre election observation, we observed the violence and the use of tear gas and firing of live bullets to disperse a rally organised by the PDP.”
The Executive Director of African Initiative, Kalu Victor, said the “event was a disgrace to democracy.””There are other measures the security agencies could have taken instead of using tear gas. Inhaling of tear gas could have led to instant death by someone having asthma.”
“The police should see it as a community thing. Causing tension in the society is unnecessary.”The coalition urged security agencies to arrest anyone involved in vote-buying during the election for prosecution to serve as deterrent to others
“Political parties, candidates and supporters should conduct themselves in line with the code of conduct. We reiterate calls to refrain from violence”, the group said.
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