A Lagos based News Magazine reporters were, in Ado Ekiti in October 2008 for an in-depth feature interview for their next publication.
The interview didn’t end till about 2 am early in the morning, with a top state government official then. And they had to leave for their hotel close to Mary Assumpta Catholic compound along Ado -Ikere Road. As a friend to one of them, I decided to take them there, from the Governor’s office.
They were not comfortable going because of the hours of the night but were pleasantly surprised to see other road users still on the road and they got to their rooms without any problem. They couldn’t believe it was possible in Ekiti. But that was before the “Days of the Killer Squad in Ekiti.”
Unfortunately, situations changed later. Ekiti State and people, started living in fears of terror in the day and terror in the night. By seven in the evenings, shops were closed, streets were closed, and taxi cabs were gone from the streets. Only very few bold yet scanty Okada ridders, were left to carry people to their destinations at very high extra charges. And even at that, there were reports of killings and political assassinations. There were reports of ritual killings and even of snatching babies from maternity centers. Those were the “Days of the Killer Squad in Ekiti.”
Today, part of the unfortunate statistics is the likes of Mr. Omolafe Aderiye, a leader of a Driver’s Union in Ado Ekiti, who was assassinated. Among those allegedly arrested and charged to court by the police for the killing, were Olanbiwonu Joseph aka Mentilo, Solar and others who were in prison custody for more three years.
Another notable suspect who was declared wanted by the police for about four years was Adesokan aka Jaaru. Unlike other poor and unconnected suspects, he escaped arrest, and information has it that he ran as far as the United States of America to hide himself from the law and prison.
However, during the last tenure of office for Governor Kayode Fayemi, every other person with contrary or alternative views were not welcomed or tolerated. They were either harassed, intimidated, silenced or sidelined. They were hunted like hunters’ preys. A good example then was MOB, who incidentally could best be described as the fingers that fed but which were later bitten. A person who showed the way but who was later ‘blindfolded’ himself. But thank God he was not blinded eventually.
The persecution of the old friend and former pathfinder was not enough, his father as a respectable political leader and Ward Chairman was removed from his position. Yet, thank God, MOB was lucky to escape an assassination at his Governorship rally at Emure. But not everybody was lucky, one of his supporters paid with his life. A fellow town’s man who used to be a fellow party man before being harassed out of the party was the leader of the squad harassing other political leaders.
Now with the return of the old guard and the new government, Ekiti State is on edge and knowing no peace again. There are now assassinations, murders, kidnappings, threats to life and property and especially those of political opponents; all of which have become part of the machinery of state control and policy.
The machineries of government have become a deliberate tool of instilling fears into the body and psychic of the people and the body politic of the state. Simply, this is terrorism. Fear has become the most potent weapon of policy implementation. Is FEARTOCRACY now the new form of government for Ekiti people? The worse of this scenario is that nobody is free and there is no exception, politicians, in government and in opposition, lawyers, students, market men and women are all complaining daily.
Currently in Ekiti State, lawyers have declared a week boycott of courts, over the kidnap and murder of one of them, Mr. Adeola Adebayo. A young, promising and a rising Ekiti star, and who was also the Secretary of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikole Branch.
Preceding this strike action was a street protest by the Wig and Gown to the Governor’s office, Ekiti State Police command headquarters and the Department of State Services. They submitted letters and demanded for the arrest and prosecution of the “bloodthirst harbinger of death” in our midst. Yes, enough should be enough.
Also, the Inspector General of Police in tandem with the happenings in Ekiti, has directed all Commissioners of Police, to arrest, prosecute politicians, supporters and their hangers-on in possession of dangerous weapons, and will not condone hate speeches or any criminal conduct that can cause threat to public peace and safety anywhere in the country. Ekiti State cannot and shall not be an exception in the management of public law and order, peace and safety. Any form of bloodletting or killing under any guise like kidnapping, herdsmen, thuggery or any slightest breaking down of law and order should not be tolerated.
Governor Kayode Fayemi sir, as the Chief Security Officer of Ekiti State, the security of life and property of Ekiti is your responsibility. You go about with long security convoys and nothing can stop you. But in this privileged position, do you know that only you and maybe very few others are safe and secured?
Do you know that millions of Ekiti people are available as vulnerable preys to killers in whatever name they are called – armed robbers, kidnappers, herdsmen, thugs, and political assassins that roam our streets, roads, farms and homes, day and night? We call on you sir to look down from your IVORY TOWERS, see and feel the aches, pains and tears of parents, wives, husbands, daughters and sons of victims. Yes, Ekiti people says no “Killer Squad Again.” Enough is definitely enough.
Anderson Tosin writes from Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State
Get real time update about this post categories directly on your device, subscribe now.