On Saturday, the convoy of Kogi’s Governor, Yahaya Bello, was ambushed by armed attackers along the Abuja-Lokoja highway, as reported by the Kogi Government. The attack occurred close to a Naval Base, just a few kilometres from Lokoja, the state capital.
The Kogi Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, confirmed the incident in a statement issued in Lokoja. Fanwo accuses political thugs from the state’s opposition party, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), of the assault.
The assault occurred around 12:30 p.m. and resulted in several injuries, including those to security aides. The injured were immediately rushed to the hospital for medical care.
Upon seeing Governor Bello’s approaching convoy, the alleged SDP thugs blocked the road and initiated gunfire. A Tundra vehicle, adorned with the logo and flags of the party, blocked the governor’s car, its occupants reportedly armed with rifles and handguns.
“Thankfully, our governor left the scene unharmed, and there is no cause for panic,” said Fanwo.
He assured the public that security forces were working diligently to apprehend those responsible for the assault. The commissioner affirmed the state government’s commitment to maintaining law and order and seeking justice for the attackers.
Fanwo disclosed that Governor Bello warned APC members against retaliatory action, asserting that any signs of insecurity would face strict penalties.
In response to these accusations, Kunle Afolayo, Media Aide to the SDP Governorship Candidate, Yakubu Ajaka, rejected the allegations.
He claimed, “It was his political thugs that attacked us.”
Afolayo questioned the plausibility of an opposition party launching an unprovoked attack on a governor.
Escalating Tensions: The Assault on Gov Yahaya Bello’s Convoy
The recent attack on Governor Yahaya Bello’s convoy signals escalating political tensions in Kogi. This unsettling development presents a clear and present danger to the region’s stability, calling for immediate attention and action.
While the alleged culprits are said to be political thugs of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), it’s important to note that these are unverified claims. Furthermore, the SDP has rejected these allegations, suggesting that the narrative may not be as clear-cut as initially portrayed. Therefore, there’s a need for a thorough investigation before drawing any conclusions.
Undeniably, such violent attacks are detrimental to the peace and stability of a region. However, we must also remember that these incidents could be used to vilify opposition parties unjustly.
In response to this volatile situation, Governor Bello’s appeal to APC members against retaliation is commendable. This approach could mitigate further conflict and maintain the current state of peace.
A comprehensive and impartial investigation is crucial to unmask the perpetrators of this crime. In addition, the authorities must act swiftly and justly to uphold law and order, ensuring political tensions don’t escalate into unchecked violence.
Did You Know?
- Kogi State, also known as the ‘Confluence State,’ is where the Rivers Niger and Benue meet.
- Yahaya Bello is the youngest governor ever elected in Nigeria’s history.
- Kogi State shares boundaries with more states than any other state in Nigeria, neighbouring ten of Nigeria’s 36 states.
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