Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose sparked a huge controversy yesterday when he claimed that the police attacked him.
The governor claimed that the police shot at him and fired teargas that blinded him in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
But the Police said the governor was not attacked.
They said policemen fired teargas to disperse a crowd of people after they had been advised not to hold a rally.
Reporters who were at the Police Headquarters rushed down to the Fajuyi Pavilion, venue of the planned rally when the news broke that the crowd was being dispersed.
A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) source claimed that Fayose was attending to complaints from members who had been denied access to the pavilion when a teargas canister fired from outside the Government House landed very close to him. The governor inhaled the teargas and went down, he said.
Asked if other people with the governor did not inhale the teargas, the source did not reply. He said Fayose was taken to the Government House Clinic.
The governor later emerged from the clinic with neck brace to address the crowd that gathered at the Government House.
Fayose alleged that he was slapped and kicked by a police officer. He also alleged that he had been ordered to be killed.
A PDP source who requested anonymity said the police did not enter the Government House, adding that “nobody beat His Excellency” who had his security details with him.
Deputy Governor and PDP candidate in Saturday’s election, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, also alleged that he was beaten by policemen.
The police said they stopped the PDP rally for security reasons and to maintain law and order.
Deputy Inspector General of of Police (Operations) Habila Joshak said the PDP neither sought for nor got permit for any rally.
Joshak said no unauthorised rally would be allowed in the state before Election Day on Saturday because of the prevailing security situation.
It was leant that the APC leadership wanted to organise a road show which the police declined to approve. It was promptly cancelled.
The Police Headquarters said “In furtherance to the presence of police officers around the Prof. Olusola Eleka pavilion at Fajuyi today (yesterday), two political parties intend to have their rally at the same date and in Ado-Ekiti metropolis but the commissioner of police advised the political parties in writing on the need to have theirn political activities at diferent time and because of the security implication.”
Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries, described Fayose’s claim as the latest “stunt” from “a clownish dramatist.”
It was not clear yesterday why it was only the governor who inhaled the teargas and how he got his neck injured as he addressed the crowd at the Government House wearing a neck collar.
The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) called for peace in the state.
Interim Chairman Adeleye Agbede said: “Ekiti are a peace loving people with unrivalled passion for education and development.
He called on Fayose and Ex-Governor Kayode Fayemi “to caution their teeming supporters against violence.”