Nigerian soldiers stationed between Akure, the capital of Ondo State, and Ado-Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State, today prevented Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State from reaching a political rally for Governor Kayode Fayemi, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in next Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti State.
In a related development, other soldiers also prevented a chopper that was scheduled to take Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State from taking off from the airport in Benin City, the capital of Edo State. Mr. Oshiomhole was also scheduled to attend the rally for Mr. Fayemi. Also another aircraft bring Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso from Kano was denied landing rights at the Akure airport.
The soldiers reportedly told both governors that they have no clearance to attend the series of rallies for Mr. Fayemi.
Two aides of Governor Amaechi told SaharaReporters that a group of soldiers stopped their convoy at Ikerre-Ekiti and told the governor that President Goodluck Jonathan needed to approve his trip to Ekiti. According to both sources, Mr. Amaechi argued with the soldiers, insisting that, like every Nigerian, he should be free to move freely within his country, but the soldiers cordoned off the road and made the governor wait for more than 30 minutes while others were given free passage. In the end, Mr. Amaechi turned back, but noticed that the soldiers followed his convoy in a bus and Hilux pickup van. When he got to Odudu in Ondo State, he asked his convoy to stop and then asked the soldiers why he was being followed. “The soldiers got angry and threatened to shoot if he didn’t keep moving,” said one source, adding that Governor Amaechi refused to move. “The soldiers then surrounded his convoy threatening to kill him and his aides if they refused to move back to Rivers State.”
A group of soldiers also told Governor Oshiomhole that his chopper was not allowed to fly due to orders from above. After a few exchanges with the soldiers, the governor then returned to his offices in Benin.
In an interview earlier today, Senator Babafemi Ojudu accused the Jonathan administration of fully militarizing Ekiti State. Mr. Ojudu stated that the federal government had closed down Akure Airport and that soldiers were preventing people from all over Ekiti State from attending a grand rally organized for Governor Fayemi today.
Yesterday, the Presidency also gave orders to stop Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State from flying out of the Yola airport to attend the inauguration of the APC executive council in Abuja. Shortly after Mr. Nyako made a decision to leave the state by road, members of the state assembly began impeachment proceedings against him.
Earlier today, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission froze the Adamawa state accounts.