Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State on Friday vowed that the killers of a Labour leader and two other persons in Okene, a town in the state, would be found and made to face the law.
In a statewide broadcast to the people of the state, Mr. Bello said he had already directed the police and other security agencies to track down the fleeing killers.
According to him, the brazen manner in which the killings were carried out indicated that the assassinations were premeditated
“There was also a clear intention to kill any hapless person who happened to be present at the time of the attack.
“Law enforcement agents are already on their trail and I have put the full support of my administration at their disposal.
“I promise Kogites that we will leave no stone unturned till we find and decisively put these cowardly criminals out of business in the manners prescribed by law,” he said.
The governor said that government viewed the killings as “enemy action” aimed at unsettling the peace and security in the state which had been restored at a great cost.
“We are already fighting back strongly for our people. Kogites can be rest assured that no one will be allowed to take us back to the past.
The governor expressed sadness over the killing of Abdulmumini Yakubu and Ibrahim Otaru at Ozonwaya area of Okene on November 1 and a 55-year-old carpenter, Abdulganiy Aduki, who was killed at Nagazi in Adavi Local Government Area on October 31.
According to him, the slain unionist, Mr. Yakubu, was a well-known community leader, an Islamic cleric, a school teacher and a Labour leader.
“In fact, he was one of the leaders who worked closely with government and the security agencies to stem the tide of insecurity in Kogi Central, particularly the Okene Axis.
“Those who knew him well informed us that he lived an honourable life. No one must be allowed to dishonour him, even in death,” he said.
Mr. Bello insisted that the people of Kogi State must be safe in every part of the state, especially in their homes.
According to him, security of lives and property will continue to remain a preoccupation of his government.
“Kogites will bear us witness that in the nearly two years we have been in office we have taken Kogi State from being one of the leading Theatres of kidnapping, armed robbery, thuggery and violent crimes in the country to its current status as one of the safest states to live and do business in,” he said.
“In times like this, it is important that we do not surrender to fear. If we do, that fear spreads like an infectious disease throughout our population, and the terrorists win,” the governor stated.
Mr. Bello then urged the people to be mindful of what they say or do in the collective interest and unity of the state.
He said that he was particularly worried about utterances credited to the leadership of organised Labour in the state, suggesting that Mr. Yakubu’s death may not be unconnected with his roles as a Labour leader opposed to government.
“Simply put, they have insinuated that this government may have something to do with his death.
“They have also gone ahead to posit that their lives are not safe as Labour leaders. I am aghast at this manner of thinking. Nothing could be further from the truth, and the leadership of Labour know this,” he said.
The governor said that the Labour leaders had nothing to fear as the government was not after them.
“I am not after them. On the contrary, government remains responsible for the security of their lives and property, along with those of all other citizens of this great state.
“It is a responsibility which even they know that we take very, very seriously indeed,” he promised.
The governor advised the Labour leaders to avoid sensational statements so as to minimise the potential for fear and mischief mongering.
He reiterated that his administration had no choice but to work for the welfare of civil servants and the entire people of the state.