Police Stop Bamidele Opeyemi's Gubernatorial Campaign Take off In Ekiti State

Bamidele Opeyemi
Nigerian policemen in Ado-Ekiti, capital of Ekiti State, South West on Thursday disrupted a rally by Mr. Bamidele Opeyemi, a member of the House of Representatives, meant to declare his interest in the governorship race in the state.

Mr. Bamidele, who belongs to the same party as the state governor, Mr. Kayode Fayemi, arrived the state capital with his entourage at 12.30pm, but were prevented from carrying out what they came for as riot policemen, who had earlier taken over the entire Ado-Ekiti, fired tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd who had come to witness the event.

When Mr. Bamidele and his entourage got to Oke Isha area of the town, they were attacked by the riot policemen who fired tear gas canisters directly at the convoy, thereby forcing the entourage to divert to Dalemore via the Stadium.

Bamidele's initial address to his supporters billed for Rose Bud Primary School field was thwarted by the police and was later moved to his campaign office in Basire Area of Ado-Ekiti, where the police also stopped from happening.

The policemen at Bibire Coalition office at Basiri-Iyin road, shot sporadically into the air in order to disperse the people who had gathered to catch a glimpse of Mr. Bamidele and his entourage. The policemen's action led to many of the residents sustaining injuries and subsequently rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment.

Meanwhile, in order to ensure that the event did not take place, members of the Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) had early in the morning barricaded the roads leading to Mr. Bamidele’s campaign venues. They brandished dangerous weapons, scaring passersby away and preventing the rally from happening.

Reacting to the action of the policemen, the state command's Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Victor Babayemi, said the rally was disrupted because it was not "yet time for political rally".

He said Mr. Bamidele and his men had violated section 99 of the Electoral Act 2011 as amended, adding that what they embarked upon was a political campaign and not a rally.

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  1. The law of the land (electoral acts, in this matter) has to be respected.