The tension and apprehension in Ekiti State reached a feverish peak, weekend, as the Police made mass arrests of those suspected to be behind the orgy of violence in the state. Those arrested will be arraigned today.
Advising troublemakers and their sponsors to have a rethink, the Police high command said in Abuja yesterday that they had appraised the situation of things in Ekiti and given the Commissioner of Police necessary directives to ensure peace.
Force Public Relations Officer, Ag. CP Emmanuel Ojukwu assured that all measures have been put in place to ensure safety and security in the state. According to him, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in-charge of Zone 11 has taken charge and more mobile policemen have been drafted to the state.
“We have obviously made some arrests but I cannot give you more details on that. They will be taken to court tomorrow (Today),” he added.
Security men prevent reprisal attack
Indeed, following the mass protests that greeted the killing of former state chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Chief Omolafe Aderiye, security operatives made up of policemen and soldiers, yesterday, in Ado Ekiti prevented a move by members of a rival union to carry out reprisal attacks.
Aderiye was killed by gunmen suspected to be hired assassins in his office at Ijigbo, Ado Ekiti last Thursday.
As early as 8.30 a.m. yesterday, members of the rival Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, RTEAN, loyal to Chief Rotimi Olabiwonnu whose properties were razed in the wake of the protest had taken over the Ajilosun area in Ado Ekiti with an intention to retaliate the attack on their leader.
But in a pre-emptive move, about 10 pick up vans carrying heavily armed anti-riot policemen and soldiers, were on standby to quell the crisis, which a police source said was successful and timely.
The reprisal attempt, which spread across the state capital forced residents to stay indoors, while those who were on their way to worship centres had to take a detour back home.
Meanwhile, Ekiti State Police Command has warned those without any legitimate business in Ekiti State to steer clear or face the full weight of the law if apprehended.
In a statement by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Victor Babayemi, the state Police Commissioner, Mr Taiwo Lakanu warned those planning to cause crisis in the state to have a rethink, adding that the command had intelligence report that some hoodlums were planning further attacks.
“The State Police Command is in receipt of an intelligence report that some hooligans within the state and their accomplices outside the state are planning to wreak more havoc and disrupt further, the existing fragile peace in the state. Consequently, the Command has placed its men on red alert to prevent these bandits from carrying out their nefarious activities anywhere in the state.
“The Command has equally been empowered to enforce the dusk-to-dawn curfew; hence, residents are also warned to abide, very strictly, with this order”, the CP advised.