Kogi Council of Chiefs Cautions Politicians on Use of Violence, Intimidation

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From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja

The Kogi State Traditional Council of Chiefs, on Monday, cautioned politicians against the use of violence and intimidation to champion their political campaigns.

The President of Kogi Council of Traditional Rulers and Ata’Igala, Alaji Opaluwa Ogwuche-Akpa gave the warning when he led First Class Chiefs in the state on a sympathy visit to Governor Yahaya Bello over the report of attack on his convoy.

His Royal Majesty who strongly condemned the attack, described it as a criminal act that must not be repeated in Kogi State going forward.

“Politicians and their followers must ensure that their campaigns are conducted without resorting to violence or intimidation”

Also speaking, His Royal Majesty, the Ohimege-Igu of Koto Karfe, Abdulrazaq Isah Koto, emphasized that the state, which has enjoyed significant peace and tranquility under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello, will continue to remain peaceful.

He urged politicians to adhere to the established rules.

Governor Bello, in his remarks, expressed surprise at the conduct of those who attacked his convoy on Saturday.

The governor explained that on his way to Abuja on May 25th, his convoy encountered a roadblock allegedly set up by protesting truck drivers who claimed to have issues with the task force.

The governor stated that after waiting for hours, enduring untold hardship alongside other commuters who were unaware of the situation, he joined the security personnel in clearing the road.

The perpetrators, who had subjected other road users to such harsh conditions, were subsequently arrested and charged by the security forces. The governor emphasized that such actions were meant to serve as a deterrent to others who may attempt to take the law into their own hands.

He mentioned that he was originally scheduled to participate in the unveiling of the APC deputy gubernatorial candidate on Friday. However, due to a meeting of the Progressive Governors Forum with the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu he requested the party to reschedule the program for Saturday.

Bello recounted that, as a result of a hectic week, he was taking a naps in his car while on his way to Lokoja. When he noticed that the convoy was not moving, he inquired about the reason and was informed by his security details that it was Muri’s convoy causing the delay. Despite frantic efforts by his security details to find a way through, he had no choice but to follow behind Murtala’s convoy from Koto Karfe to Lokoja, covering a distance of approximately 30 kilometers to the point his convoy was attacked.

The governor described the attackers’ actions as criminal, emphasizing that such lawlessness would never be tolerated in the state. He called upon the security forces, including the traditional rulers, to play their part in ensuring the continuity of peace in the state ahead of the election. He stressed the need for collective efforts to combat criminality and firmly stated that there is no room for division in Kogi State.

Governor Bello commended the traditional rulers for their proactive and fatherly guidance, expressing his appreciation for their visit and sympathy.

He also highlighted the historical connection between the Igala and Ebira people, emphasizing that politicians campaigning along ethnic and religious lines were causing problems in the state. The governor assured the traditional leaders of his unwavering commitment to maintaining law and order in the state.