…Call for Nonviolent Campaigns…
The Kogi State Traditional Council of chiefs, led by His Royal Majesty, Alaji Mathew Opaluwa Ogwuche-Akpa, Atta Igala, paid a visit to Governor Yahaya Bello at the Government House in Lokoja on Monday.
In a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor
ONOGWU Muhammed stated that Atta Igala expressed the purpose of their visit, which was to offer their sympathies to the Governor regarding the attack on his convoy by a political group on his way from Abuja to Lokoja on Saturday.
The Atta Igala strongly condemned the attack, labeling it as a criminal act that must not be repeated in Kogi State going forward.
Taking advantage of the occasion, His Royal Majesty, Alaji Mathew Opaluwa Ogwuche-Akpa, also cautioned politicians and their followers to ensure that their campaigns are conducted without resorting to violence or intimidation.
In his prayers for the continuous well-being of Governor Yahaya Bello and the progress of Kogi State, 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 his surprise at the conduct of those who attacked his convoy on Saturday.
He 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 Koton-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.
The royal fathers, accompanied by the President of Kogi State Council of Chiefs, the Atta Igala, HRM Alaji