Tuesday, November 5, 2019 3:13 pm
The People’s Democratic Party in Takete-Ide and the entire community have accused a media aide to Kogi State Governor, Kingsley Femi Fanwo, of harassing innocent indigenes of the community with sporadic gunshots and threats of arrest.
The community therefore called on law enforcement organs in Mopamuro Local Government to call Fanwo to order.
This is contained in a petition signed by Temitope Atte, a PDP member and indigene of the community and made available to newsmen in Lokoja today.
Fanwo who is Governor Yahaya Bello’s Director General on Media and Publicity hails from the community and is said to have cultivated a habit of going about with security personnel who shoots without restraint whenever he visited.
Captioned ‘situation report on the dangers of gunpoint politics by Femi Fanwo in Takete-Ide,’ the petition says Takete has become a new Somalia, Eritrea, Palestine and Sambisa forest where the power of the gun rules the day, and the night!
“We hereby call on Femi Fanwo to cease and desist this terror and siege on our community, particularly on hapless women and youngsters who are vulnerable. All well-meaning people should impress upon him that seeking people’s support by democratic means is the way to go towards election and not through the dirty, dangerous, despicable threat of violence.
The petition reads in part:
“We the entire Takete Ide community and PDP leadership & members in Ward 07 hereby draw your attention to life-threatening events continuously perpetrated by Femi Fanwo in our hometown, and request your assistance in curtailing this horrific trend. I will restrain myself to what I’ve witnessed in the last 48 hours only:
“I was home about 8pm on Saturday Nov. 2 and joined the PDP leadership at Ile Oke directly. What I met was a combustible situation where Babatunde Fanwo had sat about 50 yards across from the PDP leadership with some of his party boys generally raising hell and making threats to “carry” (detain) some PDP members ASAP. He drew our attention to the fact that even the PDP Campaign CSO has been “carried” so “we can carry anybody”.
“This was against the backdrop that earlier that evening, before my arrival, he had removed the cap of a PDP member 3 times and threw it off for daring to wear it. Needless to say, their boys wear theirs and are not being harassed. Babatunde Fanwo is a younger brother to Femi Fanwo, DG Media to Gov. Yahaha Bello of the APC. ‘Tunde was challenged and there was temporary calm.
“That is also against the backdrop of sporadic *gunfire* in the community by fully armed Civil Defense and Police personnel in 2 vans following Femi Fanwo around, terrorizing the community. This has happened every time Fanwo arrived the community.
“2. We were informed after a bit of time that plans were made to burn the tent under which we the PDP members sat, that night, which was very close to the main building. Whereas some said we should keep a vigil to prevent that, we decided to also report the matter to the Kabiyesi. He then called the former chairman of the APC in Takete Ide, Mr. Dele Eseyin to deliver a message to Femi Fanwo to reign in his boys and stop the gunfire in our community as the election was still a full fortnight away and, at any rate there was no call for gunfire since we weren’t at war. The Kabiyesi went ahead to rain curses on whoever disturbed the peace of the town. Mr. Dele went to deliver it and stopped at our tent on his way back to reassure us that we should all be at peace and the tent would not be burnt. So Femi had said he had been lied against and the gunfire would also stop.
“3. While Mr. Deke Eseyin was delivering the message “from Femi Fanwo”, gunfire erupted again from the north. Apparently Femi felt affronted that the Kabiyesi could ask him to stop, and started the gunfire by his security personnel afresh. He sat in his car with a van in front and another behind while Tunde his brother and one other boy marched on foot in front of the convoy, firing 2 rifle shots EVERY SINGLE MINUTE!!! The convoy came by our tent and transversed the length of the town, firing continuously. They then went near the Kabiyesi’s palace and fired rapidly, perhaps to show that Femi had no regard for our traditional ruler, and that he could not be advised to stop shooting sporadically to frighten and intimidate indigenes of the community.
“That went on for about an hour and we counted over 150 gunshots on Saturday evening in Takete Ide. We kept vigil till past midnight.
“4. On Sunday it was reported he left early in the morning and peace returned to our community. Later that evening the PDP held our meetings and supporters trooped out en masse to identify with us. We did not abuse anyone nor touched the APC banners and posters in the town.
“Monday, since the PDP gubernatorial rally for Yagba was postponed we had a PDP meeting and rallied our supporters, with Amuro leaders like Cmdr. Foluso Daniel in our midst. Again we had a massive crowd of supporters who openly identified with us. It was peaceful and joyous. Very successful. There were no issues. We didn’t touch their campaign infrastructure. We dispersed about 6pm.
“5. I came to Effo with a few boys and Adegoke Jimoh for certain interactions at Teramo hotel before leaving for my station the following day when calls started coming in from home that the gunfire was back, only now accompanied by the destruction of ALL PDP campaign paraphernalia PERSONALLY by Femi Fanwo. On entering the town his security men started with countless volleys of gunfire and Femi alighted in front of Asipa Ologe’s house and personally tore the PDP banner and removed it into his car. All the while loudly threatening anyone to vote or come out to challenge him. Later he threw the torn material out of his car as he drove off.
“He proceeded to Ile Oke and did the same, destroying the PDP campaign banner and screaming for all who could hear that whoever comes out of their houses to attempt to vote “will see what has never been seen in this town!!!” “No one should dare to come out to vote unless they want to die!!!”
“The count of gunfire was said to exceed what I personally witnessed on Saturday evening.
All this gestapo tactics, all the intimidation, all the gunfire for what???
“Is it not clear to some that a bullet shot in the air has at least terminal velocity on the way down, and could still kill? It is iron; and what goes up must come down. Should any indigene fall victim, we will NOT accept a verdict of “accidental discharge”. Should an old woman with a weak heart die of shock from fear of gunfire, we will hold those responsible totally culpable.
Throughout this myriad acts of provocation, violence and destruction of campaign materials, the Takete Ide PDP has remained resolute in its peaceful and democratic pursuits, and in our strong believe that the power to gain political power rests with registered voters who are now making a choice based on apparent records of each administration and plans for the future, rather than through the wicked barrels of guns.
“Once violence begins in a community, the beginning may appear obvious to the originators and perpetrators, but no one could predict the end.
“Any abductions of PDP members in the name of detention, internecine violence or any shedding of blood in Takete Ide should be laid squarely at the foot of Femi Fanwo and the APC.
“Law enforcement agencies in Mopamuro have been briefed of this situation, and hopefully will prove that no one is above the law.