Monday, November 11, 2019 6:27 pm
The political atmosphere in Kogi is becoming very tense five days to the November 16 governorship election.
There are reports of influx of political thugs and arming of hoodlums with guns and other dangerous weapons for the purpose of disruption of the election by politicians.
Fears that the election may be marred by violence manifested at about 1:00am on Monday morning when suspected thugs set fire to the Secretariat of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Lokoja, the state capital with valuable items like furniture, documents, electrical equipment and campaign materials were burnt to ashes.
The building, which is located few metres away from the state police command headquarters in Lokoja, was reportedly vandalised earlier on Saturday, Nov. 9, by suspected armed thugs.
It was learnt that the SDP rented the building from AVM Ndatsu Umaru, a former military governor of Kwara and Kano States.
When contacted, Mr Akeem Busari, the state commissioner of police, confirmed the incident.
He said the police had launched investigation into the arson with a view to identifying and bringing the perpetrators to book.
The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) reports that incidence of attacks had increased in the state in the past few days, causing fear and tension among the residents.
In his reaction, the state Chairman of the SDP, Alhaji Mukhtar Atima , accused the ruling All Progressives Congress ( APC) of being behind the attack.
He said the obvious fear of defeat starring APC in the face made it to “release their boys to unleash terror on our party .”
Aside this, he said that the governorship candidate of the party, Mrs Natasha Akpoti has been receiving threats from some quarters.
“No amount of harassment and destruction will deter the party and it’s governorship candidate from contesting and winning the Nov. 16 election,” he said .
He appealed to party members and supporters to remain peaceful and not to be deterred by provocative and uncivil conducts of members of the ruling party.
Mr Kingsley Fanwo, Chairman, Media Committee, Bello/Onoja Campaign Organisation denied allegations that the hoodlums were sponsored by the APC.
He added that Governor Yahaya Bello and the leadership of the party were currently engaged in rigorous campaigns , saying that ” there is no time for irrelevant issues now