Ahead of the November Governorship election in Kogi State, the National leadership of the Social Democratic Party SDP, on Wednesday, raised the alarm over the increasing waves of violent attacks on its members in the state.
The recent attack was its Governorship Candidate in the election, Alhaji Muritala Yakubu Ajaka, the party alleged.
Addressing News men in Abuja over the development, the National Chairman of the Party, Alhaji Shehu Gaban urged President Bola Tinubu and the Heads of the Nation’s Security Forces to wade into the matter saying that nobody has the monopoly over any situation.
According to him, “We are worried by the rising tension and cloud of insecurity that is gathering in the Kogi political landscape ahead of the November 2023 Gubernatorial election and we are responsibly mindful of the fact that it is the statutory duty of government to ensure the safety of lives and property of citizens nationwide including in Kogi State.
“Our Party, the Social Democratic Party is faced with the inexplicable criminal state-sponsored assassination attempt on the life of Alhaji Muritala Yakubu Ajaka, the Governorship Candidate of our great party, SDP.
“This is in clear violation of the Electoral Act and the rule of law and in clear conflict with the position reached at the meeting of Thursday, 17 November 2022 with all the registered political parties and all the Heads of Security Agencies in Nigeria including the Nigeria Police. Above all, it is an unwarranted violation of human rights as well as a grave threat to human lives.
The Party debuted the statement credited to the state Commissioner of Information that the SDP Gubernatorial Candidate was the one behind the attack on the Convoy of Governor Yaya Bello on June 3 this year in Lokoja, the state Capital.
The Party’s National Chairman explained “that contrary to the false claims in the media by the Kogi State Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Muritala Yakubu Ajaka was the real target and victim of the pre-meditated assassination attack.
“Also, we have found that reliable independent investigations, as well as incontrovertible video and photographic evidence, put a lie to the spurious claims of the governor. The evidence has confirmed and presented Governor Yahaya Bello as the mastermind of the attack.
“The National leadership of the SDP, therefore, hereby wishes to make the following submissions on the ugly incident of June 3, 2023, in Kogi State.
“That the narrative that was pushed into the public space which presented Governor Yahaya Bello as the victim of the attack is false, callous and a condemnable mockery of the collective sensibility of the Kogi people and Nigerians in general, given the well-established and documented ignoble antecedents and violence orientation of the Governor.
“That Candidate Ajaka complied with all the procedures and requirements of the law before setting out on Saturday, June 3, 2023, to embark on his scheduled simple and private courtesy calls on, and consultations to some traditional leaders across the State.
” That Candidate Ajaka acted within the ambit of the laws guiding the election, and that there is no denying the established fact that the attack on Candidate Ajaka and his convoy was aimed at physically eliminating him from the race
He stated that the party had submitted a comprehensive petition on the attack to the Office of the President and heads of Security agencies,” calling on Mr. President to order the Nigerian Police to swiftly conduct a thorough investigation of the assassinations attack on Alhaji Muritala Yakubu Ajaka, and nip in the bud, the prevailing regime of reckless abuse of executive and state powers in Kogi State, which is inimical to democratic consolidation, peace, and human security”.
He noted that “the sarcasm and allegory of the “lion and antelope” of the Governor are odious, reckless, primitive, vexatious and condemnable, and the President should caution and call him to order, and be made to know that, going forward, he will be held responsible for any break down of law and order, or the loss of any soul in Kogi State before, during and after the governorship election.
He made it clear that the Party would “press criminal charges against the thugs and individuals who were identified to have carried out the shooting attacks, the damages done to several vehicles and the act of arson on two vehicles by the governor’s squad who unleashed the terror attack on our governorship Candidate”.
The Party advised that the federal government “should do all that is necessary to ensure that Kogi State is made safe for all its citizens and other Nigerians who are domiciled on its territory, and to create a congenial environment to guarantee a peaceful election and credible outcome”
He vowed that the SDP would not succumb to any form of intimidation and harassment from the governor’s camp or any quarters in the course of the governorship election and future political process”.
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