Kogi govt behind attack on our Lokoja campaign office – SDP alleges


The Social Democratic Party (SDP) has accused the Kogi State Government of masterminding the attack on their campaign office in Lokoja, where billboards and windows were destroyed.

The State Secretary of SDP, Dr Arome Okeme, made the accusation in a press statement on Monday.

Okeme alleged that on the 9th of July, at about 9 am, urchins, thugs and arsonists, on the payroll of the state government launched an unprovoked assault on the secretariat of the Social Democratic Party/Muri/Abene campaign office in Kogi State, destroying and burning party flags, campaign banners and sacrilegiously, the Nigerian national flags.

Going down memory lane of some of the sad event that has happened to supporters of the SDP in Kogi State, the SDP Secretary explained, “It is no longer news that the Social Democratic Party over the years has suffered tremendous losses in the hands of the ruling party led by Governor Yahaya Bello as it has always posed the biggest threat to his continuity as governor or de facto. Maybe a journey down the recent past will juggle our memories a bit.

“During the 2018 senatorial elections, the APC led by Yahaya Bello employed the use of rogue security personnel and thugs to physically assault the then candidate of the party for the Kogi central senatorial elections, Barr. Natasha Akpoti, the popular choice of the people then.

“It was under the watch of this government that two supporters of the candidate were shot and killed; her family house set ablaze in Okehi, and many supporters maimed.

“In 2019, the same government, under the direction of the same governor, meted the party with another gruesome blow when it attacked and set its secretariat, located at paparanda square just opposite the local government secretariat, ablaze, destroying property worth millions of naira in the process.

“It was under his watch that thugs loyal to him accosted our then gubernatorial candidate, Barr Natasha Akpoti, and pushed her to the ground during a meeting called by the then commissioner of police in public glare, and nothing was done about that incident up till this day. It demoralized our supporters and traumatized our candidate.

“The governor ensured none of our candidate’s posters, banners or paraphernalia flew in Kogi state as all were torn and set on fire. Supporters of the party were physically assaulted and chased from polling units while being disenfranchised.

“During the 2019 general election, the governor supervised one of the worst elections ever to be held in Kogi State, where many lives were lost. Choppers shot at peaceful voters from the sky. Infact, if one was not familiar with the state, one would assume that it was a war theater.

“Recently, the governor declared himself a lion while belittling our candidate by describing him as an antelope. He ultimately owned up to almost assassinating our candidate for the November gubernatorial election by acceding to being present on the day shots were fired at our candidate’s bullet proof car where he was seated in the passenger’s seat”.

Okeme urged the Inspector-General of Police to call the Commissioner of Police in the state to order and immediately have him fish out the culprits of this unfortunate barbaric event.

According to him, the failure of security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of this act may lead to them resorting to self-help.

“It is true that the governor has lost hold of and favour with Asorock as he previously did with the previous government, and this has become worrisome to him as the “federal might” he relied on may not be available for him to abuse after all.

“We also call on the general public not to be cowed or intimidated by these actions as this is just a minor setback that will only engender the Muri/Abene campaign to intensify its activities towards liberating the good people of Kogi state from the shackles of their enemies who are unfortunately their current leaders,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Kogi State Government has distanced itself from the attack on the SDP office in Lokoja.

The government, in a statement through the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, said the present administration would not condone any act that would undermine the democratic process in Nigeria.

Fanwo warned criminals and hoodlums to steer clear of the Kogi governorship poll as the state government will deal with criminals as criminals.

“Parties should also desist from making uninformed, malicious and inciting statements that are capable of disturbing the peace of the state”, he added.

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