• Sunday, May 26, 2024
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BusinessDay

Ekiti crisis: Government imposes curfew on state

The Ekiti State government has announced a dusk to dawn curfew in the state as part of measures aimed at curtailing the current crisis in the state.

Announcing the curfew in a state-wide broadcast on Friday, Governor Kayode Fayemi said there would be restriction in movement between 7p.m and 7a.m everyday till further notice.

The governor, who has also suspended his ‘Thank You Tour’ of the state, urged the citizenry to be vigilant and provide security agencies with details of suspicious activities that can undermine the peace of the state.

While calling on all stakeholders in the state to cooperate with government “to stop the violence and brigandage that had brought about serious embarrassment” to the state, Fayemi charged all and sundry to temper their “competitive zeal with civility and empathy”.

“In order to forestall further descent into anarchy in our state, I am taking the very difficult decision to suspend the ‘Thank You Tour’ which I am undertaking as part of our transitioning-out formalities. Also, I have taken the decision to institute a dusk to dawn curfew in the state immediately. Accordingly, there would be no movement between the hours of 7.00p.m and 7.00a.m everyday till further notice”, he said.

Speaking on the series of incidences that had sparked off crisis in the state, the governor recalled the desecration of the court and the beating up of judges by political thugs “acting on the incitement of an interested party in the presence ofGov-kayode-fayemi law enforcement agents with inappropriate response”.

Fayemi said he reliably gathered that the thugs again attempted to prevent the state governorship election petition tribunal from sitting on Thursday.

Fayemi said: “The fact that this assault did not meet with any strong deterring repercussions from the appropriate authorities further emboldened the miscreants. They subsequently attempted to prevent the Ekiti State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal from sitting yesterday, Thursday, September 25. 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 later tear his clothes. The court premises was thrown into confusion and those present scurried away in search of safety and security. This was on the back of his specious allegation that the judiciary in the state is compromised and biased against him. And the answer to that was to resort to jungle justice and take laws into his hands.”

Fayemi, who expressed worry that the obstruction of justice is a clear invitation to anarchy that characterised the state some years ago, urged all political actors in the state to exercise caution in the interest of the 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’, he added.

On the closure of the state courts by the chief judge of the state, Justice Ayo Daramola, the governor said he has directed the state attorney general to issue a legal advisory to the chief judge and all parties to the existing cases in the State High Court as well as the state governorship election petition tribunal on the desirability of seeking an alternative venue for the hearing of the cases outside Ekiti State.

According to the governor, the state can no longer afford to witness the blizzard spectacle of the beating up of judicial officers and wanton intimidation of lawyers and court personnel.