——-Says Govt would deal decisively with trouble makers in Bassa LG of Kogi State
Ahead of the Saturday House of Assembly election in Kogi State, the State Governor, Aihaji Yahaya Bello has assured the people of Kogi State that tighter security arrangements against the election have been made to guarantee safety for the electorates and Electoral officials.
According to him, the Police and other law enforcement agencies have been fully mobilized and are on red alert. “They have our mandate to do anything and everything necessary within the law to keep our people safe and ensure peaceful polls.
The governor who stated this in state broadcast on Friday, however said that he was impressed that the security services have quickly plugged identified loopholes through which isolated instances of violence marred the last round of elections, especially during the campaigns.
“Through the efforts of vigilant operatives, and the cooperation of the various parties and their candidates, the last two weeks of campaigning for the next Elections have been generally peaceful across Kogi. Once more, I thank the men and women in uniform who protect and serve us in Kogi State for their vigilance. We look forward to their usual gallantry tomorrow.
“In other words, even though we have more candidates contesting for election into the Kogi State House of Assembly tomorrow than we had for the Presidential and National Assembly Elections a fortnight ago, we have had peace despite the higher stakes for us as a State.
“It is therefore clear to everybody now that electoral violence is a choice which individuals make out of their own desperation, and not because of any set of circumstances. Irrespective of appearances, people who provoke or perpetrate electoral violence do so because they lack inherent nobility of character and have an unwillingness to let the electorate decide.
“Accordingly, I urge parties, politicians and their supporters to continue maintaining the peace as any attempt to endanger the populace before, during and after the Elections will be met with stiff resistance.
“Staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and all categories of Electoral Officers and ad hoc staff who are sent to Kogi State can expect full security coverage wherever they are stationed.
“As long as they play by the rules and perform their duties with conscience they have nothing to fear. We will however hold anyone who facilitates electoral offences responsible and pursue their prosecution to the full extent of the law.
“On the elections tomorrow, I encourage our people to come out en masse and vote for their representatives without fear of duress, or of threat to their lives and properties.
The governor berated what he called the senseless and perrenial conflicts with which some communities in Bassa Local Government Area have continued to trouble the peace and tranquility of Kogi State.
He noted that “the people of Sheria and Oguma communities in particular must understand that we are now living in the 21st Century and there are legal ways of settling ethnic disputes over anything, including farmlands and fishing grounds.
” Government has mediated and done everything to resolve these conflicts in the past. However, the senseless bloodletting which happened overnight yesterday simply tells us that the attackers are not ready to listen to reason.
“Let it be known as of today therefore that our patience with these killings and burning of settlements is over. Enough is enough. We shall deal decisively with this matter henceforth. If people will not live together in peace, we have a duty as Government to enforce the peace and stop them from disturbing those who want to.
“I hereby direct our security agencies to spare no resources in hunting down and arresting the culprits in these recent attacks. We are going to try them for murder and request for the maximum penalty since they have no qualms taking human lives.
“In pursuit of long-term solutions, we are also considering the imposition of certain executive orders in the overriding public interest which are designed to finally abate this intolerable nuisance.
“In the days ahead, I assure Kogites that we will so trouble those who trouble our peace in this atrocious manner that they will find themselves so occupied with too much troubles of their own to plot or execute further mischief.Share this on WhatsApp