Kogi poll: SDP guber candidate, Ajaka raises alarm over plot to assassinate him
…accuses Kogi police, DSS of complicity
The Kogi state governorship candidate of the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP), Alhaji Muritala Yakubu Ajaka has raised the alarm over the plot to assassinate him.
Ajaka claimed that the plot was a calculated attempt to stop his impending victory in the November 11, governorship elections in Kogi state.
Ajaka who spoke through spokesperson of his campaign organization, Mr Faruk Adejoh-Audu alleged that Governor Yahaya Bello, working in cahoots with heads of security agencies in the state have perfected the plot to abduct him to Lokoja and frame him with trump-up charges with the aim of clamping him into detention and possibly assassinate him.
He added: “Details of the plan which began manifesting on Tuesday included hastily arraigning Alhaji Ajaka before a Lokoja Court to legally seal the plot to incarcerate him indefinitely.
“In furtherance of the plot the State Commissioner of Police Hakeem Adeshina Yusuf who had obstinately refused to investigate our petition of attempted assassination against Mr Bello and his band of thugs and gunmen who attacked our motorcade on June 3, 2023 is now stalking our candidate at the behest of Mr Bello to accuse him of been the aggressor in the attack.
“Some gun men in Mufti appeared at an address on Khartoum Street in Wuse, Abuja at about 12:30pm Tuesday claiming they have been detailed by Mr Yusuf to arrest Alhaji Ajaka for attempted assasination, gun possession and terrorism as a result of the same attack carried our by Mr Bello and his gun men.
“Already Mr Bello has put some of his friendly media editors and social media influencers on cue to disparage the SDP Candidate through stories and commentaries that will potray the candidate as a violent man.
“Mr Bello is a Governor whose administration has gained notoriety for violence, framing up opponents and compromising the institutions of the polity to gain advantage in elections.
“Alhaji Ajaka has no record of violence whatsoever at anytime in his political career, but in the last four months the candidate, members of his campaign team have been at the receiving end of State violence from Federal security agents who have been obviously compromised to torment political rivals of Mr Bello.
“We have cried out to all the relevant agencies of state to rein in Mr Bello and get him to play by the rules of engagement of electioneering to no avail.
“Where in the word is an interested party in an election allowed the pleasure to arrest opponents and clamp them into detention to prevent them from campaigning.
This plot was hatched after a campaign outing by Alhaji Ajaka at Idah during which a mammoth crowd never before recorded in history of rallies in Kogi State came to recieve him.
“In the last Presidential and National Assembly Elections Governor Bello took several bizarre measures to intimidate the then main opposition Peoples Democratic Party in the state by deploying earth moving equipment to dig craters on several streets leading to polling units in the Central Senatorial District of Kogi State.
“The intimidation was so effective that the PDP had to cancel its campaign flag off rally in the said Central Senatorial District.
Two weeks ago, he procured security agents in the state to extra judicially execute Mallam Kabir Bala aka Okwo, a thug he freed from prison and unleashed on defenceless citizens of the state at the dawn of the 2019 Elections. Okwo was among about 20 thugs he freed from custody across the state to use for violence electoral mayhem in 2019.
“The moment Okwo was executed Mr Yusuf the police commissioner accused him of several heinous felonies. Yet Okwo was a reverred member of the party who was even Inaugurated by Mr Bello as the Ofu LGA Coordinator of the Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Council.
“He was also one of the 67 delegates to the APC National Convention. At no time was he ever accused, invited or arrested for any crime since 2019 until he openly renounced violence and announced his support for Alhaji Ajaka before he was hunted down killed and then accused of various violent crimes.
” In the last four years Many citizens of the state have been murdered in cold blood in the build up to elections or on election day the most heinous which was the procurement of a police helicopter to shoot at voters from the air on November 16, 2019.
“Mr Bello has succeeded so far in this campaign of violence with the active connivance of the security forces in the state.
“The brazen effort to frame up a governorship candidate on trump up charges and use the state’s intimidated judiciary to keep him out of circulation is a new low in Bello’s notorious desperate antics of electoral repression.
“Once again we are calling on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to call this outlaw of a governor to order since we cannot press charges against him due to his executive immunity.
“Using the state institutions of compliance to suppress opponents in an election with the force of arms is akin to coup d’etat and we hereby task the Federal Government of Nigeria under president Tinubu to forestall such an unconstitutional desperation even from governor produced by his party.
“But we invite the world to take note that if anything untoward happens to Ajaka Mr Bello, The Nigerian Police, the Directorate of State Security (DSS) and the Nigerian Navy who have been eager participants in this unconscionable and unconstitutional act of repression despite our outcries be held to account.”
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.