– Says ‘we’ll never submit our authority to criminals’
By Abubakar S. H
The Kogi State Government has reiterated its endorsement of the recent joint operation carried out by security agencies in the state, in which a notorious gang leader was neutralised, saying that the operation has reduced crime in the area by over 40 per cent.
The Commissioner for Information in the state, Kingsley Fanwo, who said this in Lokoja, stressed that no amount of blackmail by desperate enemies of the state would stop the government from protecting lives and property of Kogites and cooperating totally with law enforcement agencies to rid the state of crime.
He said the Kogi State Government would not submit its authority to criminals, while calling on security agencies to invite those tagging the operation an extrajudicial killing and inciting violence for thorough investigation.
“They must be held to account for their claims,” he stressed, adding, “We can’t come this far taming terrorists for the past 90 months only to lose it to the garrulous crime-sponsors defending a criminal.”
The Commissioner said the government would do everything within the curve of law to guarantee a peaceful poll in November, warning that intimidation, ethnic/ religious profiling and other anti-social and unconstitutional acts would be met with stiff resistance.
“It is our responsibility to give confidence to our people that they are free from attacks while exercising their franchise,” he noted.
Fanwo stated, “The recent happening at Ejule was a necessary stitch-in-time led by security agents in the state to rid our state of criminalty. For the upteenth time, we reiterate our endorsement of the operation that has brought down insecurity in that area by over 40%.
“The late Kabir Bala popularly known as Okwo was a terror in the East, kidnapping and raping young women and housewives and terrorising the entire Kogi East.
“Motorists traversing the state were subjected to ‘Okwo levy’ to the embarrassment of the State, among other acts of extreme intimidation and criminality.
The state government warned those fanning the embers of discord among the ethnic groups in the state to desist from the act capable of causing disunity.
.“The Kogi State Government wishes to draw the attention of the general public to the antics of mischief-makers and ethnic bigots to stoke the flames of ethnic resentment, division and hate by agents of political desperation who are bent on destroying the unity and peace enjoyed by the State.
“Their unintelligent approach has been to push ethnically divisive words and attribute same to Governor Yahaya Bello in order to incite certain ethnic groups against his person and his administration. These statements are not only false, but also an ignominy of dragging our state back to the conquered era of ethnic chauvinism.
On the false allegations given by Murtala Ajaka of the SDP, which he said a circular was issued to traditional rulers in the state to avoid seeing him during campaign, courtesy visit, Fanwo said its a spurious allegations just to create ethnic sentiments, sympathy for himself, Kogi People will not be dissuaded by the antics of Murtala Ajaka.
” The man who make false allegations against the respected traditional rulers in the state should come out and proved it with evidence, Murtala Ajaka must produce the circular within 7 days or we take legal action against him, if he refuses to prove the allegations”, he said.
He further said that SDP in kogi state does not have a single councillor, assembly, Senate seat or any other elective position, why should APC be afraid of such irrelevant political party, he stressed.
“Governor Yahaya Bello through his actions, projects, appointments and unifying leadership credentials, has succeeded in building the state into what politics cannot balkanise. We remain a united and prosperous state.