The Kogi State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the state governor, Yahaya Bello, of threatening violence against opposition parties.
In a statement titled, ‘Complaint/notice of threat to peace and security by the government of Kogi State,’ the Kogi PDP Chairman, Samuel Uhuotu asked the Abubakar Abdulsalami-led National Peace Committee to call the governor to order.
While stating that Bello’s electioneering activities had become “vicious”, the party accused Yahaya Bello, his political appointees, and loyalists of brandishing the use of force and violence against political opponents in the state at different times and fora.
According to the PDP, the governor had on September 4, 2022, threatened to lead a team of thugs with firepower to kill and maim those who oppose him and his party in the forthcoming elections.
Uhuotu said: “It is no longer news that the governor, owing to his unprecedented poor leadership style, has become unpopular among the people, hence, his resolve to the threat of use of force and violence against the same people he took an oath to serve and protect.
“The governor at the event invented a pseudo name for gun which he called “ira chenyi” to replace “Ta-Ta-Ta” of 2019 which literarily mean “firepower” or “vicious fire” in Ebira Language, a development that attracted wide condemnation from the good people of Ebiraland, Kogi State and Nigeria when the horrifying incident went viral on print and social media.
“The governor then quickly issued a statement to say that he was quoted out of context and that he was rather referring to criminals in Kogi State.”
The PDP alleged that in an attempt to intimidate voters ahead of the upcoming elections, particularly the people of Kogi Central Senatorial District, the governor has been moving from one place to another with his appointees and rented crowd brandishing the threat of ‘ira chenyi’ on those who will dare stand against his party candidates in the election.
The statement said: “It is worthy of note that as part of the plan of the governor to cause breach of peace in Okene, he has through the Chairman of Okene Local Government Area by a letter dated October 26, 2022 given the PDP a week ultimatum to vacate its campaign office in the Okene Local Government Area of Kogi State for the flimsiest excuse that the PDP Party Secretariat poses a security threat to some infrastructure in Okene to wit: the Council Secretariat and the Okene Central Mosque. These reasons are mere machinations and attempt to destabilise the political activities of the PDP in the area.
“More disturbing is the plan of the governor and his political appointees which we have on good and reliable authorities to surreptitiously plant incriminating materials at the premises of the PDP Party Secretariat as well as that of the premises of its members in Kogi Central Senatorial District all to portray the party and its members in bad light and put them on the wrong side of the law.”
The PDP added that the series of events leading to its complaint is rather unfortunate, stressing that the same governor who took an oath of allegiance to the people and the law is now the one championing and sowing seeds of discord in the land.
The party called on Abdulsalami, “as a highly respected and senior citizen and leader of Nigeria who have sacrificed his personal and family comfort for the peace and development of Nigeria, to as always take urgent steps to forestall the grave consequences of the acts of the Governor of Kogi State.”