By May BASSEY, Senior Investigator Correspondent, Lagos/
LAGOS- PRO-DEMOCRACY groups have commended Governor Yahaya Bello of Kiogi for his good governance system in the state; calling on politicians in the state to abhor acts inimical to smooth transition in the forthcoming elections. The commendation and calls for caution came against the backdrop of an explosion which occurred in Okene in the state on a day President Muhammadu Buhari visited the state to commission some projects by the governor.
The groups which said Governor Bello needed celebration rather than condemnation took exception to the undue exaggeration accorded the explosion by some unnamed politicians in the state, calling on security agencies to question them on their knowledge of the incident. The groups made their positions known at a press conference, in Abuja on Tuesday, convened after a New Year gathering of over 100 pro-democracy groups with more than 3,000 members, which took place in Lagos on December 31. The event was tagged: “2023 polls: Call for Caution”.
Co-conveners of the “Call for Caution”, who jointly signed the communique issued at the end of the Lagos deliberations of the pro-democracy groups, and presented it to the press on Tuesday include: Comrade Olufemi Lawson, Executive Director, Center for Public Accountability; Madam Gift Yusuf, Secretary, Northern Women For Democracy and Justice; Barrister Benjamin Emeka Igwe, Member, Steering Committee, CUPP; and Hon. Razaq Eyiowuawi, National Vice Chairman, Southwest, African Democratic Congress. They noted that the array of impactful infrastructural projects, some of which were commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari in Kogi State, last Thursday, had exposed what they described as campaigns of calumny against the Governor of the state as “simply unfounded.”
“We would not even have taken an interest in Kogi State this much if the President’s visit had not exposed a case of deliberate misrepresentation of facts on ground by those who the people of the state should regard as their enemies. We want to categorically state that the campaign of calumny against the state governor is unfounded and those who sponsored the dastardly act on the day the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria visited the state, either remotely or directly, must be fished out and dealt with decisively,” they said in a communique jointly signed by the co-conveners.
According to them, if these kinds of actions are not nipped in the bud, other politicians across Nigeria with the same mindset would set the country on the brink of collapse even before the elections are conducted. The coalition noted that the likes of Mrs Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, a Senatorial candidate in the state who allegedly gave out casualty figures of the bomb blast on social media even before police preliminary investigations, and other politicians said to have celebrated after the deadly attack, ought to have been invited by security agencies for questioning.
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