A few days prior to Kogi State’s governorship election, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), one of the main opposition parties in the state, charged that Yahaya Bello, the current governor, was the mastermind behind an attack on its campaign director, Ibrahim Jibrin’s home in the Ayingab region of the state.
The governor is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The accusation on Tuesday is the latest in a series of accusations and counter-accusations of violence between both parties since the start of campaigning.
The SDP said Mr Bello, with the help of the commissioner of police in the state, Berthrand Onuoha, is using policemen to attack opposition politicians.
SDP gubernatorial campaign spokesperson, Faruk Adejoh – Audu in a statement said a group of thugs and security agents attacked Mr Jibrin’s residence with an armoured personal carrier vehicle. He said a policeman attached to Mr Jibrin was killed during the attack.
“A rogue force assembled by the Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Mr Bethrand Unuoha on behalf of the outlaw governor of Kogi State, Mr Yahaya Bello killed a serving policeman while attacking the home of the Director-General of the SDP Campaign Council for Kogi State, Sheik Ibrahim Jibrin, with an Armoured Personel Carrier (APC) at Anyigba this morning.
“The rogues’ force made up of thugs led by one Friday Makama officially declared wanted by a federal high court, police led by one Supol Ojo of the Lokoja Mopol office and Navy mercenaries led by N U Akalezi of the Nigerian Navy killed the police guard, officer Atabor at about 6:00 am this morning,” Mr Adejoh – Audu said.
He said the attack, by the thugs, policemen and officers of the State Security Service (SSS), lasted for over one hour.
“The APC broke down the gate of Sheikh’s County home to gain access to the compound before releasing the rogue force who opened fire indiscriminately killing Atabor while the other guards ran for cover.
“They took away the corpse of Policeman Atabor and about six other persons among whom are believed to be four policemen on official duty,” the spokesperson added.
Mr Adejoh-Audu alleged that there was a meeting between Mr Bello and top security agents in the state to undermine efforts of the federal government to ensure a free and fair election in the state.
“At a meeting last week Tuesday between Mr Bello, Police Commissioner Unuoha and Mr Ajayi a decision was taken to undermine the Federal Government’s resolve to ensure a free and fair election in Kogi by setting up a rogue force to counter the military force being deployed to forestall violence.
“It is our information that Bethrand Unuoha and some other compromised security chiefs in Kogi will sustain these sporadic attacks on our Campaign leadership and supporters particularly in Kogi East until the day of the election,” the statement added.
Mr Adejoh-Audu called on the Inspector General of Police to transfer the police commissioner out of the state to allow for a free and fair election.
Both the Kogi information commissioner, Kingsley Fanwo and that of the police in the state, Williams Ovye-Aya did not respond to separate calls and SMS sent to them on the issue.
Mr Bello, who is not seeking re-election because he will be completing his second and final term in office in January, is supporting the APC candidate, Usman Dodo. Apart from Mr Ajaka, Dino Melaye, a former senator and the candidate of the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party is the other frontrunner in the election.