Stakeholders condemn police laxity, poll violence in Bayelsa, Kogi States

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• ’Kogi has become synonymous with violence’
“It is inconceivable for the Police authorities to claim that fake policemen perpetrated the shocking subversion of the will of the Bayelsa people in the charade called governorship election in Bayelsa State.”

The Senator Douye Diri Campaign Organisation, made assertion after the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, claimed that some fake policemen perpetrated the violence, which marred the recent gubernatorial election in Bayelsa and Kogi States.

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According to the Director of Media and Publicity of the Diri Campaign Organization, Dr. Jonathan Obuebite, the IGP’s statement only reinforced the position of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that security agencies colluded with thugs of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig the elections.

This is just as members of the late Prince Abubakar Audu, condemned in strong terms the violence that pervaded Kogi State during and after the November 16, 2019 gubernatorial election, which left on its wake “tales of death, pain and bitterness.”

Speaking in Abuja, Sunday, to mark the fourth anniversary of the death of the first executive governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu,
Prince Mustapha Mona Audu said his late father was a politician that believed in free, fair and peaceful election.

“The truth about it is that he always believed in peaceful free and fair election and unfortunately, it is no longer the case in Kogi State, election violence seems to be synonymous with the state.

“It is a thing of shame for every Kogite that we cannot express our views peacefully, fairly. It is a thing of shame that we kill each other over things that will pass away. Audu never stood for that.”

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Bemoaning the dastardly killing of a woman party leader in Ochadamu, whom suspected political thugs set ablaze alongside her house, the younger Audu added: “We have been mourning the woman’s death and I believe if late Audu were here he would have visited her family. It is unfortunate that today there is still election violence, no one is happy in Kogi State.”

Mustapha disclosed how call centres were set to receive videos on election violence during the election, explaining that what they turned in were overwhelming, even as he recalled with regrets the death of a19 year-old boy in Anyigba during the 2019 general election with no arrest made till date.

He however, expressed optimism that all those involved in the death of the PDP woman leader in Ochadamu would be brought to book to face the full weight of the law.

Blaming the new dimension of ethnic jingoism brought to bear on the electoral process in Kogi State, Mustapha remarked that it is very dangerous trend that could hinder progress and development.

“Everyone is shouting Igala, Ebira, Okun, Yoruba, Kakanda. That is wrong. It is this division that brings about violence, especially with people of the same tribe living together but based on different ideologies or different parties they begin to fight and kill each other.

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“It is very unfortunate that we haven’t grown past this and as a citizen of Kogi I am ashamed that these are the news and reports that comes out of the state,” he stated, stressing that it is wrong for Nigerians to kill themselves.

Mustapha urged the present day political actors to emulate previous leaders, who he said, never put their ambitions high and above their people, like late Abubakar Audu, who sacrificed themselves for the people.

He also challenged the people to put pressure on the members of the National Assembly to make laws that would ensure that perpetrators of election violence face severe punishment, particularly by way of maximum prison sentences.

On his part, the Diri Campaign Organization spokesman wondered how fake policemen would overpower the more than 32,000 genuine policemen that were deployed to provide security in the election.

Obuebite said that while it is distressing for the police to attribute the electoral violence in Bayelsa to fake policemen, it was a confirmation of the PDP’s earlier claim that security agencies, especially the Army, colluded with the electoral body and APC thugs to rig the election.

Maintaining that the IGP’s explanation as incredible as it is untenable, Obuebite wondered why the police boss did not explain why the original police did not arrest the fake policemen.

He said it was unbelievable that the so-called fake policemen carried out arrests and took their victims to police stations, saying: “The Senator Douye Diri Campaign Organization wishes to say that the Police account was a desperate attempt to provide a non existent answer to the screaming issue of legitimacy around the Bayelsa election because of the violence unleashed on the state by Federal forces and thugs on Election Day.

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