There was tension in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital on Wednesday as the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) foiled an alleged plan to stop the governorship declaration of an aspirant, Mr. Kola Alabi.
Alabi had obtained a police permit which was granted by the state police command about three weeks before the declaration but was allegedly persuaded by the Commissioner of Police, Abdullahi Chafe, to shift the event.
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The command is believed to have attempted to convince Alabi to shift the event because Governor Ayo Fayose was also holding victory rally to mark the third anniversary of his electoral victory in 2014.
But Alabi defied the police and staged a street procession which shut down some parts of Ado-Ekiti and his native Ikere-Ekiti from where party faithful trooped out in their thousands to witness the declaration at the APC secretariat.
There was a massive security buildup to prevent a possible clash between APC members and Fayose’s supporters. Men of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Department of State Services (DSS) and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) at Ijigbo and Ajilosun areas of Ado-Ekiti.
Addressing party leaders while declaring his intent to run for governor in 2018, Alabi said neither himself nor his party can be intimidated in the quest to bring about positive change in Ekiti.
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He promised to focus on agriculture, development of mineral resources, opening up more revenue-generating ventures and growing cottage industries.
Receiving the aspirant, APC Deputy Chairman, Mrs. Kemisola Olaleye, slammed the state police command for attempting to force a shift of the event for which a valid permit had been secured.
She explained that the police had shifted two APC programmes for which permit had been obtained in recent past in favour of rallies by Fayose questioning the neutrality of the command.
Mrs. Olaleye said: Fayose cannot intimidate us because we have police permit for this declaration at our party secretariat. APC is fully on ground, nobody can chase us out of the state and whether Fayose like it or not, we are coming to power at next year’s election.”