27 January 2009

Nigeria: Protest Over Killings in Ekiti

Ado-Ekiti — Following several allegations of assassination attempts on some prominent politicians in Ekiti State, scores of residents of Ado-Ekiti yesterday trooped out in protest against what they described as prevailing insecurity of lives of property in the state.

The protesters, who took their protest trains to several strategic locations within the state capital, also warned that no further politically-motivated killing would be tolerated in the state again.

Yesterday's protest, which was carried out by the youths, politicians, motorcycle operators known as Okada, market women and men, came less than 24 hours, after unknown arsonists set the Ado-Ekiti residence of the Managing Editor of The NEWS magazine, Mr Babafemi Ojudu, on fire.

Some of the areas touched during the protest in the ancient city include, Okeyinmi Roundabout, Old garage and went through the Bisi Market before their protest terminated at the Ewi's Palace for an audience with the monarch, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe.

The protesters, who apparently felt bitter with the increase in the rate of criminal activities in the state in the recent time said not more than 24 hours after the remains of slain former General Manager (Finance/ Administration), Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), Mr Kehinde Fasuuba, were committed to mother earth, that some suspected criminals still made attempts at the lives of two Action Congress (AC) Assembly members, while Ojudu's house was also touched.

Their movement around the Oba's market temporarily paralysed all activities, just as free flow of traffic was also affected, until the train moved away from the market arena.

The protesters deplored the failure of the state government to halt the spate of killings, attacks on some politicians and other violent crimes in the state.

Inscriptions on some of the placards displayed by the protesters read, "We Condemn Assassination Attempts in Ekiti," "Okiro, Please Come to Our Aid", "Perpetrators of Evil in Ekiti Shall Not Go Unpunished", "Yar'Adua, Save us from Assassins Who Have Invaded Ekiti," and "Enough of Political Killings in Ekiti."

While speaking to journalists at Okeyinmi, while the protest was in progress, the House of Assembly member representing Ado-Ekiti 1 Constituency, Hon Tope Olanipekun, said the stakeholders in the politics of the town had no option than to embark on the protest to draw the attention of the concerned authorities to the worsening security situation in the state capital.

According to him, the people of the town are still mourning the assassination of Fasubaa when suspected assassins visited the homes of fellow Assembly members, Hon David Taiwo who represents Ado-Ekiti 2 Constituency and Hon Funminiyi Afuye who represents Ikere 1.

The legislator bitterly recalled that another state lawmaker, Hon Abiola Olowookere narrowly escaped being killed about two weeks ago, describing the situation in the town as "very dicey and worrisome."

However, when the protesters got to the palace of the traditional ruler of the ancient city, the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe, they were addressed on behalf of the monarch by the Ologun Adele of Ado-Ekiti, Chief Francis Oloruntogbe, who said the traditional institution is concerned by the increasing wave of killings, attempted assassinations and other violent crimes in the community.

He, however, appealed to the protesters not to take the law into their own hands, just as he prayed that God would expose all those perpetrating evils in Ado-Ekiti which was hitherto known for peace and tranquility.

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