The visit of President Muhammadu Buhari GCON to Kogi State ostensibly to commission legacy projects of the Yahaya Bello administration has come and gone, leaving in its wake, a worrisome security situation. For us in the PDP, the bomb blast which preceeded the arrival of Mr President, has become a recurring decimal in a series of misfortunes which have plagued the state over sometime now thereby presenting us in very bad light. The most recent event was the report of a N10 billion naira cash seizure by EFCC from the nephews of Gov Yahaya Bello. We have maintained a studied silence on this, as the matter is in a court of competent jurisdiction. We wait and watch like all Nigerians.
Okene, hometown of Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello, where some of the projects were commissioned, recorded an incident of a bomb blast shortly before Mr President arrived on his official visit. Sadly, three lives were lost, and a fourth is hovering between life and death in a hospital. This brings to the fore our constant appeal to the law enforcement agencies, on the need to be perpetually vigilant concerning the security of the state, particularly when all eyes are focused on the state; be it a presidential visit or preparations towards the upcoming general elections.
We commend the Federal Government for largely curtailing the spate of bomb blasts across the country. The resurgence of this gruesome phenomenon at the eve of a popular suffrage in kogi state gives credence to our fears regarding the safety of our citizens during this election season.
Our concerns arise from past documented threats issued by top agents of government.
A case in point is the needless angst in trying to cancel the Secretariat donated to the PDP by the Kogi Central Senatorial Candidate, Barr. Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan.
The occurrence of a bomb blast in Okene, a development which has largely abated nationwide, calls for serious concern.
Considering the reconnaissance and counter efforts of the Kogi DSS, around the Reference Hospital – a short distance from the scene of the bomb blast raise the question “how did the perpetrators of the dastardly act penetrate the security envelope created for Mr President and the top dignitaries”?
The government of Kogi State has since issued a statement attributing the dastardly act to the activities of “misguided” politicians which in effect precludes the ruling APC from being fingered, while beaming the searchlight on the opposition parties for which the PDP is in the frontline.
We wish to take exception to the statement made. This brings to mind the incident of 4th Sept.2019 where as PDP was conducting its Governorship primaries, a staccato of gunshots was unleashed on the gathering by persons believed to be backed by powers that be. The PDP members had to scamper for safety.
That the recent bomb blast, in Okene, took place by the Azad Palace of the paramount ruler of Ebiraland who was preparing to receive Mr President; but was shunted aside and precluded from the Presidential visit raises more questions than meets the eyes.
For the umpteenth time, we call on the Security agencies to do a thorough investigation of this latest incident of a bomb blast in Okene, to unravel and bring the perpetrators to book. This is to forestall such acts or incidents that may threaten the peace and security of the state as we go into the election year, 2023.
Finally, we call on the DSS headquarters working in tandem with the Police Headquarters, to leave no stone unturned in unravelling the mystery behind the Okene bomb blast, close to the Palace of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Alh. Ado Ibrahim, and just a few hours before the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari. The question needs to be asked – who was/were the target?
Austyn Ochu,Head,Media Team,
Election Management Committee,PCC,Kogi State