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How Kogi government blocked opposition from entering state, by Ologbondiyan, Natasha

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Kogi<br />PHOTO: Kogi State

National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kola Ologbodiyan and Social Democratic Party (SDP) senatorial candidate for Kogi Central district, Natasha Akpoti, have alleged that security operatives blocked opposition members from entering the state on elections eve.

Speaking to newsmen yesterday in Kabba he said, “Yesterday we were barred from entering our own state at Banda near Lokoja. Some of the leaders of our party were made to turn back. It is unfortunate that election in Kogi is turning to warfare.

“As I speak with you, in several local governments particularly in the central and east districts, there were cases of shooting and killing of people. It is rather unfortunate and when you check all these, it is the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s aggression,” he said.

He wondered why the ruling party decided to toe the part of dishonour, asking where the PDP stopped or harassed APC in 2014 or 2015, when it lost?

“The situation is mindless but no matter what happens, Nigerians have demonstrated their resolve to vote out the President Muhammadu Buhari administration,” he said.

According to him, election is not warfare and no mater how the APC tries to turn Nigeria into a violent state, the people must resist it because violence is not part of their culture.

He added that the party in power was determined to turn the country into a violent state, but Nigerians have demonstrated their willingness to end violence by voting with their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) on Saturday.

Akpoti, who spoke to newsmen at her Ihima country home, also explained that she was also blocked from entering the state.

She said the election was peaceful after a very hectic night, as she was stopped from entering the state, adding that she had to take a detour through Keffi, driving all night through Benue.

Explaining further, she said on getting to Okene she was stopped and her security withdrawn from her against the instructions of Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu.

However, the Kogi State Police command has debunked reports on social media alleging that an aide to Governor Yahaya Bello had mobilised and led Police officers to mount a stop and search operation at Banda along Lokoja-Abuja road.

This was contained in a statement issued yesterday by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), William Aya.

“The command wishes to state unequivocally that the story is not only the figment of the imagination of the authors, but totally false, malicious and highly mischievous.

“It stated that the Commissioner of Police (CP) complied with the IGP’s directives to check illegal deployment of police personnel to VIPs and directed the Squadron Commander, 37 Police Mobile Force, CSP Muhammad S. Mohammed to carry out aggressive stop and search on opposition members,” the statement reads.

It indicated that the order was to check movement of arms and illegal deployment of Police personnel in Kogi State being the gateway to the North and South.


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