- Fayemi constrained to speak on the matter due to ongoing investigations.
- Sues for calm to ensure peace in the state.
Ekiti state governor, Kayode Fayemi has dismissed the claims that his wife, Bisi Fayemi ordered Police personnel to shoot at students of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti State (FUOYE) who were protesting over inadequate and inconsistent supply by the Benin Electric Distribution Company (BEDC).
In a state broadcast, Fyaemi stated that until the multiple investigations are completed, he is necessarily constrained from talking about the details of what transpired.
“I, however, do not need to be constrained about the emotions a tragedy like this evokes. Any death is a tragedy. Any shooting arising from legitimate protests diminishes our fledgeling democratic dispensation and calls to question our commitment to fundamental human rights.
“Having heard from all parties to the incident, it is pertinent that I now personally convey my deeply felt sorrow for the loss of two promising young lives and for those who suffered injuries. We could not therefore under any circumstances have directed that deadly force be used on any of our citizens freely expressing their right to protest.”
He recalled that before the conclusion of the investigations into the matter, his administration has sent a high-level government delegation to visit the families of the deceased, adding that it will not be a one-off intervention and his government will stand firmly with & support the families at this time.
“Those persons with varying degrees of injuries will also be given support whilst their hospital expenses will be defrayed by the government,” he added.
He also revealed that the State Commissioner of Police has been directed to urgently commence an investigation into the circumstances that led to the unfortunate shooting incident with a view to identifying possible culprits within and outside the Force.
“Taken together with the ongoing investigation by the University management, we will consider the need for an independent panel of inquiry, if necessary once these fact-finding investigations are concluded.
“In the meantime, I have suggested to our police authorities to explore the use of non-lethal rubber bullets in managing public protests and the Nigerian Governors Forum will take this up at the highest levels in government.
Government of Ekiti State.”
Noting the initial public statement released by the University authorities and its Students Union body, the governor said he welcomed the conclusion that neither the wife of the Governor nor any Government official directed the shootings as she and those on her entourage are victims of this unfortunate incident.
Speaking on the issue that led to the protest has been the subject of intense disagreement and negotiations with
BEDC since he assumed office, Fayemi said the state Commissioner for Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Bamidele Faparusi was still in Benin to see BEDC management on the matter of inadequate and inconsistent supply of electricity in Ekiti State.
“Though Governors do not have any control over privatised power distribution companies, the four Governors from the states covered by the Benin DISCO have consistently expressed dissatisfaction with the services of BEDC and taken the matter up with the Vice President who chairs the Privatisation Council.
“In addition to this, I have been talking to the Rural Electrification Agency about including FUOYE in the next round of their University Electrification Project.”
The governor appealed for calm and caution as they await the reports of the various investigations.
“No persons or group should attempt to use this tragic incident to destabilise the peace and progress of Ekiti State.
It is time for sober reflection as we mourn the dead and care for the wounded. “