Ekiti Guber: PDP Members Protest Police’s Harassment of Ekiti Gov as NBC Fines Ekiti Broadcasting Service N500,000

Led by its National Chairman, Uche Seconds, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Thursday, marched on the National Assembly to protest what it called harassment of Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, on Wednesday.
Armed police officers numbering over 50, Wednesday, cordoned off the entrance to the Ekiti State Government house, restricting movement in and out of the complex.
Scores of police officers barricaded the venue of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rally, close to the Ekiti Government House.
The police were seen in a video that went viral on the internet, using tear gas to disperse the PDP supporters, including the Ekiti Governor, who was also affected by the police action.
The PDP protesters also demonstrated at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) demanding among others, the conduct of free, fair and credible governorship poll in Ekiti State on Saturday.
The protesters, including members of the National Working Committee (NWC), took off at the Legacy House as youths and women sang in solidarity with the party.
Placards bearing various messages such as “Buhari, stop intimidating Nigerians,” “This is not the democracy we voted for,” “Buhari, you are not God,” among others, were displayed by the protesters who conducted themselves in orderly manner.
At the entrance gate to the National Assembly, where they were stopped by security agents, the protesters were received by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, former Ministers of Aviation and Women Affairs, Kema Chikwe and Josephine Anenih respectively.
Presenting a letter of protest to Ekweremadu, Secondus said the leadership of the PDP decided to bring to the notice of the National Assembly what he called the assault on democracy in Ekiti State.
“We have come to notify our lawmakers that democracy is under threat. Only yesterday (Wednesday), the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose was assaulted, harassed and pushed to the ground. The All Progressives Congress (APC) has not only placed democracy under threat in Nigeria but throughout the world.
“We are aware of a civilian coup in Ekiti but all we are saying is that we don’t want elections to be rigged. The international community is watching what the security agencies and INEC will do on Saturday. We demand free and fair elections because anything short of this is a recipe for disaster.
“We are not intimidated and we won’t be cowed,” he said, warning that there may be no elections should there be a compromise of the will of Ekiti people on Saturday.
Receiving the letter, Ekweremadu promised the co-operation of the leadership of the National Assembly to look into the issues raised in the letter even as he admonished security agents to play by the rules at all times.
According to him, the parliament would make contact with INEC and the Police to ensure the conduct of free polls, beginning on Saturday with the conduct of governorship election in Ekiti state.
“All the issues raised in your petition will be looked into by the leadership of the National Assembly. We are going to make contacts with INEC and the police and we are going to do everything possible to make sure that there is free and fair elections,” Ekweremadu pledged.
From the National Assembly, the protesters marched on to INEC headquarters where one of its national commissioners, Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola received the party’s petition on behalf of the commission.
There were also protests by PDP in Imo, Kastina, among otherr states.
Meanwhile, Director-General of NBC, Ishaq Kawu, said on Thursday that Ekiti Broadcasting Service has been fined the sum N500,000 for unethical practices ahead the state governership on Saturday.
The DG made this known at a news conference on Ekiti governorship election, in Abuja.
Kawu said that broadcasters had an obligation to ensure that they did not disrupt the good order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the nation’s democracy.
According to him, Ekiti State Broadcasting Service has been unprofessional in its activities, particularly in the past two weeks and NBC cannot but take action.
The D G said the station had not been been meeting ethical standard of broadcasting in airing political activities in the state.
He said the appointment of the Acting Director-General of Ekiti Broadcasting Service, Lere Olayinka, as the spokesperson of Kolapo Olusola Campaign Organisation (KOCO), was not in conformity with the ethical standard of broadcasting.
“For the avoidance of doubt, section 5.2. and 18 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code states that while a broadcaster /producer may interact with politicians in the course of his professional duties. ‘this shall not be such as to lead to the belief that he is either a member or sympathizer of any political party,” he said.
Kawu said the NBC had written to the station and drawn its attention to the violation of the code, but that words of caution were ignored.
“When President Muhammadu Buhari went to Ekiti State, the Governor actually did a broadcast telling the people not to receive the President.
“You can carry partisanship up to a point but not up to that level.
“So we are sanctioning the Ekiti State Broadcasting Service, the highest level of sanction that NBC can impose,” he said.
The DG said that the Director of Broadcast Monitoring and other personnel of the commission would be on ground to monitor the situation.
Kawu said that broadcasters were allowed to operate within the context of law in a fair and professional manner.
He explained that the commission had earlier issued written directives on how stations were to conduct themselves before, during and after elections.
“Every station is aware of the ways it must conduct itself as broadcast professionals and institutions,” he said.

Author: News Editor

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