As the country prepares for the 2023 general elections, an alleged terror remarks by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has continued to attract condemnations. The Governor reportedly threatened political opponents while speaking in Ebira, his mother tongue at a function in Ihima on Monday.
The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has raised the alarm over the worrisome video clip in which Bello incited his supporters, threatening to burn and unleash maximum violence on Nigerians during the 2023 general elections.
A statement issued by National Publicity Secretary Hon. Debo Ologunagba said, “Governor Bello in the video, was heard issuing terrorism threats in which he said, ‘I will personally light a fierce fire in my hand whoever want it we shall use it to burn them, whoever survive it will thank God… Whoever is against us we will make him or her join my mother and lie with her (my mother) in grave.”
By FBI definition, terrorism is the “unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”.
This brazen threat by Governor Yahaya Bello raises apprehensions in the public space of the existence of a killer squad established to inflict violence on Nigerians ahead of the 2023 general elections just because they have rejected the corrupt, divisive and rudderless All Progressives Congress (APC), which failure is most manifest by Yahaya Bello’s abysmal performance in Kogi State.
“From his outburst, Nigerians now know the individuals who engineered the gruesome killing of many of our citizens including the PDP Woman Leader in Kogi State, Mrs. Salome Abu, who was burnt alive in her house in 2019,
“Also, Nigerians now have more insight into the disappearance of Hon. Adelabu Musa, the PDP Chairman in Okene Local Government Area for over three years now.
“Furthermore, the PDP recalls how the Bello-led Kogi State Government was accused of breeding and arming thugs as well as fake security operatives to harass and attack Nigerians in Kogi State during the 2019 general elections.
“This threat to violence and actual violence to Nigerians especially at this time have the capacity to cause a breach of public peace, truncate the 2023 electoral process and derail our democracy.
“The PDP therefore calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately call Governor Yahaya Bello to order and place him and his supporters on security watch list as threat to democracy ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“Our Party also charges the Inspector General of Police to immediately commence a comprehensive investigation into the activities of Governor Yahaya Bello with a view to nipping this ugly trend in the bud as well as prosecuting him at the end of his tenure as Governor of Kogi State.
“We urge Nigerians, especially those in Kogi State not to be deterred by Yahaya Bello whose days in office are numbered but remain vigilant and continue to rally with the PDP in the determination to liberate our nation from the stranglehold of the APC and the likes of Yahaya Bello, come 2023.
In a related development, the Kogi State Government has disowned the viral video. Commissioner for Information and Communicstion, Kingsley Fanwo in statement on Wednesday claimed the Governor’s message in Ihima was twisted.