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Ekiti Gears Up For Jonathan Visit

Ekiti Gears Up For Jonathan Visit

Police authorities in Ekiti State have beefed up security in the build up to planned visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to the state on Thursday.

The President is being expected in Ekiti to drum up support for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) standard-bearer in the June 21 governorship election in the state, Ayo Fayose.

To underscore the importance of the election to the major political parties in the race, leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), including ex-military Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, and former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, are also expected to arrive Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, today for the Kayode Fayemi re-election campaign.

The two parties are to hold their rallies at the popular Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado-Ekiti.

State Police Commissioner, Felix Uyanna, said he has deployed his men to all strategic locations in the metropolis and its suburbs to forestall any breakdown of law and order.

Uyanna, who spoke through the command’s Public Relations Officer, Victor Babayemi, added that his men have also begun a stop-and-search operation on all vehicles to prevent any explosive devices from being brought in to wreak havoc on the people.

The commissioner stated that the command was aware of the enormity of the President’s visit and the calibre of people that would visit the state, assuring that the two rallies will be devoid of rancour and breakdown of law and order.

“The command has enough manpower to ensure that the rallies are held under a peaceful atmosphere.

“Once the protection of lives and property is our utmost duty, we are going to do all within our powers to curb any crisis that could lead to loss of lives.

“We have activated all the police units to be able to deal with any situation because we are not unaware of the personalities that will visit the state within the next two days.

“Our men from the explosive and ordinance department had already commenced operation at the venue of the two rallies. They are combing everywhere as we speak.

“We are not going to limit our operations to this, we are also going to give adequate protection to all the hotels where some of these personalities will be staying.

“So, we are on top of the situation and we are monitoring situations very carefully,” Uyanna stated.

The police boss added that the command has also put machinery in motion for effective traffic control during the rallies for free flow of vehicular and human movements.

Uyanna warned those planning to foment trouble to desist, saying the command will deal decisively with those apprehended for such tendency.

“We want to warn trouble makers to beware because we are several miles ahead of them.

“Our men are well mobilised and positioned to march them up because the security of lives and property is very dear to us,” he said.

Meanwhile, PDP in Ekiti has raised an alarm over alleged plot to disrupt the President’s visit.

PDP chairman of the publicity committee , Kola Oluwawole, in a statement in Ado Ekiti alleged that the antics of the APC-led government was to cause confusion to dissuade people from coming out en masse to welcome the President.

It alleged that APC has been mobilising thugs to foment chaos in the Ado Ekiti metropolis to create an impression that the President is not welcomed because of alleged unpopularity of his party in the state.

“At Ikogosi and Erijiyan Ekiti where the APC chairman Jide Awe hails from, all the billboards and banners of the PDP candidate have been torn to shreds while hangers were out rightly uprooted in some cases; the same thing was done to the one located at the Itawure end of Efon-Alaye as well as in other towns and villages in the state.

“We believe that the APC resorted to this antics after all efforts to hoodwink people of the state to sympathise with them in their dwindling electoral fortune has failed but rather orchestrating some further rejection by the electorates,” the statement said.

But the APC Media Director, Segun Dipe, reacted swiftly, expressing disgust that PDP was becoming too frivolous and that Ekiti people are getting tired of such frivolities.

“Our pact is with the people not with PDP. Rather than coming up with phantom allegations all the time, they should make their campaign issue-focused by telling the people what they had done before and what they intend to do again,” the APC said.

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