The Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, on Friday night said those who attacked him at a mosque in Lokoja in the afternoon were sponsored political miscreants who saw his ongoing reforms in the state as inimical to their selfish interests.
Mr. Bello said some of the attackers were promptly apprehended by security agents and market women, adding that the “politically motivated attack” would be thoroughly investigated.
PREMIUM TIMES had this afternoon broke the story of how aggrieved residents hurled stones, rotten fruits and vegetables at Mr. Bello, decrying the worsening economic situation in the state.
Friday’s attack against Mr. Bello came two weeks after he suffered a similar one while visiting Ankpa, the headquarters of Ankpa Local Government Area of the state, witnesses told PREMIUM TIMES.
But in a statement signed by his press secretary, Kingsley Fanwo, Mr. Bello said the attacks were carried out by ‘imported’ thugs contracted by his political adversaries hell-bent on maintaining the status quo.
“We are not unaware of scheming by change resistors to sponsor attacks against government officials,” Mr. Fanwo said. “Sponsoring attacks against the Governor will not stop our march to restore sanity to the polity.”
Mr. Fanwo also attributed the attack to a raging ‘syndrome’ occasioned by his sweeping reforms in the state’s civil service, promising that the names of those suffering from it would soon be published.
“The administration of Governor Yahaya Bello will soon publish the names of corrupt citizens of the state who are behind the Ghost Workers syndrome.”
Mr. Bello, who assumed office in January, had embarked on a broad re-verification exercise for the state’s civil servants, citing widespread abuse in workers payroll, a situation he said saw the state losing billions to fraud in a state bleeding from diminishing revenues.
Mr. Bello’s campaign had pitted him against the labour unions who accused his government of being insensitive to their plight.
Mr. Bello thanked the citizens of his state who swung to action and repelled Friday’s attack against him and his entourage, adding that they should remain resolute in their support towards the restoration of the “lost glory of the state.”