The Yahaya Bello/Edward Onoja Campaign Council in Kogi State has accused its main rival, Musa Wada, candidate of the opposition PDP, of sponsoring violence in the state.
The campaign council through its spokesman, Kingsley Fanwo, frowned at the alleged loss of lives and destruction of property that heralded “Wada’s one day in Kogi,” a rally by Mr Wada.
Mr Wada is the main challenger to the incumbent governor of Kogi, Yahaya Bello, who is seeking a second term in office.
Yahaya Bello is flying the flag of the ruling APC while Mr Wada, younger brother to the immediate past governor, is the PDP candidate.
The APC campaign council cautioned the PDP against violence during the electioneering period.
“We have viewed with sadness, the heartless, mindless, callous, soulless, uncharitable and needless loss of lives and property as a result of the violent entrance of Musa Wada into the State.
“Kogi has moved away from thuggish and violent politics and any attempt to introduce that will be resisted by the peace-loving people of the state through constitutional means.”
“A promising young man, Samuel Owoniyi, who was riding on a motorbike was attacked and hauled to the ground by Wada’s thugs only to be crushed by a truck.”
He said the deceased who was a young Pastor who hailed from Mopamuro Local Government Area of the state met his untimely death at the Zenith Bank Junction in Lokoja on Friday.
“The same thugs under the protection of the PDP candidate’s convoy also attacked a tricycle, leading to the death of one person while a nursing mother was severely injured.”
“It is also on record that the Deputy Speaker Of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon Ahmed Mohammed and an APC grassroots mobilizer, Dr Usman Ogbo were also attacked during which their vehicles were vandalized and scores of supporters injured by the militants imported from the Niger Delta by Musa Wada.”
“In the face of these glaring provocations, we urge our supporters to remain calm and avoid any form of reprisals. We are a peace-loving party and we know our record is enough to win the election overwhelmingly. “
“Wada’s desperation stems from a sense of defeat and a scheme to ensure the election is postponed because he is unprepared.”
“His glaring rejection across the state has reminded him of a new Kogi State where politically incompetent and unknown people can no longer play the ethnic card to hoodwink the people,” He said.
Mr Fanwo said the APC campaign organisation welcomes the prompt intervention of the police whom he said took a record of what led to the death of innocent citizens by the thugs in the entourage.
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“We urge the police and other security agencies to move a step further by ensuring the perpetrators of the heinous crime are brought to book to set a tone that Kogi election will be peaceful.”
“As a party, we shall continue to maintain peace and order because winners don’t panic.”
He condoled with the family of the deceased saying, “To the families who lost their loved ones to the criminality that happened in the convoy of Musa Wada on Friday, we commiserate with them for the irreparable loss.”
“May the souls of the departed rest in peace. And to those attacked and their vehicles damaged, we sympathize with them and assure them of protection from those who think they can build a ladder of blood to power.”
Efforts to contact the Kogi State police spokesperson, Williams Aya, did not yield positive results as he neither picked several calls nor responded to text messages.
PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, when contacted, promised to address the issue before the end of the day.