A timely intervention by the Police and other security agencies prevented what would have been a bloody clash among youths supporting President Muhammadu Buhari and those rooting for Governor Ayo Fayose on Saturday.
The Buhari supporters who are beneficiaries of the Npower scheme had gathered at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) for walk to mark one year of the empowerment programme in the state.
Some youths believed to have been mobilised from the Government House stormed the place singing the praises of Fayose and his ‘anointed’ candidate, Deputy Governor, Prof. Kolapo Olusola.
As the Npower beneficiaries displayed banners hailing Buhari for empowering them through the scheme, Fayose’s supporters displayed various placards hailing the governor and proclaiming support for Olusola ahead of the governorship poll.
Tension mounted as youths on both sides exchanged words. The pro-Buhari youths described the action of pro-Fayose youths as “provocative.”
But policemen and other security agents quickly intervened and dispersed the pro-Fayose youths and protected the pro-Buhari youths to the venue of their celebration at AB Hotel, along Olora Road.
The scenario is seen as a dress rehearsal towards the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti expected to be a fierce battle between the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
Justifying their action, a pro-Fayose youth, Ajibade Segun, said: “A few months ago, Governor, Fayose invited us to the Government House and promised those of us who are NPower beneficiaries in Ekiti that we would get permanent employment from the state government. This is why we are happy and we are now coming out to campaign for the Deputy Governor Kolapo Olusola. We are are here supporting the continuity agenda of his Excellency Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose and supporting Olusola Eleka for governor in July 14.
“To the president we are saying that we don’t want just a temporary relief in the name of Npower from massive unemployment in Nigeria, we want permanent employment. We also want the number of beneficiaries of the Npower in Ekiti to be more than what we have presently. But most importantly, we want a permanent job like the governor has promised to give a good number of us, ” he said.
A pro-Buhari youth and N-Power beneficiary, Adeosun Peter, said: “I want the people of Nigeria to know that we are not campaigning for Fayose or Olusola. It is Buhari that we know because he is the one who is feeding us. We have the banners bearing the image of Buhari and we are thanking him for this gesture.
“N30,000 for each of the beneficiaries every month is not a small money. In twelve months, we know what that money amounts to. The beneficiaries of N-power in Ekiti in this first tranche are 3,400, and 8,337 will benefit in the second tranche, those of us here now are more than 3,000 that have come for accreditation today.
“Buhari is our benefactor. We are standing for Buhari. We are thanking Buhari for what he has done and we also want him to make the job permanent.”