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Kogi Election Tribunal: SDP raises issues over alleged massive attacks on Members

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***Urges Presidency, Security agencies to wade in

The Social Democratic Party (SDP), on Friday raised the alarm over alledged massive clamp down on its members who appeared as witnesses before the on going Kogi State Gubernatorial Election Tribunal holding at National Judiciary Institute, Abuja.

The National Chairman of the Party, Alhaji Shehu Musa Gabam who addressed newsmen in Abuja over the incident, urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the heads of the nation’s security Forces to wade into the urgly development In the National interest

According to him, “We wish to formally report that immediately after the Testimonies at the Petition Tribunal which sat on 28 March 2024, there were sporadic attacks on the lives and properties of members who testified for SDP as well as attacks on their families and shops in Kogi State.
“On 28 March 2024, the following attacks on SDP members were recorded in Kogi State:
a) The house and shops of Mr. Galadima were vandalised and wares brought out and put on fire at Oziokutu.
b) The properties of Hon. Agomi were brought out of his house and set on fire.
c) The items in the Pharmacy of Hon. Mumuni Time at Idoji – Inike junction were vandalised and destroyed and burnt.
d) The family house of Hon Mustapha Otinawu at Ahogede, Idozumi was attacked and destroyed.
e) The rented apartment of Hon. Agomi Yusuf at Okengwe was attacked and his properties carted outside and burnt.
f) The house of Mr. Dahiru Orietesu at Orietesu was attacked, properties brought out and destroyed. His pregnant wife was badly beaten, and she is still hospitalised at the time of this report.

“It is again with great sense of responsibility, and now with great sadness that we wish to bring to the attention of the Inspector General of Police of the Federation the blatant threats to peace and security in Kogi State which have now escalated and to remind the IGP of our letter to his good-self dated 26 February 2024 titled “BLATANT THREATS TO PEACE AND SECURITY IN KOGI STATE CAN ESCALATE.” Sadly, the situation in Kogi State has indeed escalated.

“In our letter under reference, we called the attention of the IGP to the emergent threats to peace and security in Kogi State which portend significant dangers of national dimensions and requested your-good-self for swift and effective intervention to restore law and order and security to avert unwarranted escalation within the State or to national disaster.
“We reported that a group of persons have carried out attacks on SDP members and incited the public to attack them. The group also threatened the safety and lives of our party officials publicly including through radio announcements warning them to take heed at the risk of their lives and those of their families.
“The group has been daring and brazen about its readiness to attack to the level that it took its heinous and dastardly campaign to a Government licensed Radio station, Jatto 102.7 FM Radio Station, to threaten SDP members warning them not to testify in election petition tribunal or they will deal with them and their family members.
“We reminded the IGP that a group of people had unleashed so much terror in Kogi State before and the after the November 2023 election resulting in destruction of the SDP Gubernatorial Secretariat in Lokoja in July 2023, and burning down of the same Secretariat in August 2023 as well as caused so much mayhem and reckless attacks including on the Election Petition Tribunal that the Federal Government had to shift the sitting of the Tribunal from Lokoja in Kogi State to Abuja.
“We reported that in spite of shifting of the Tribunal operations to Abuja, the group has continued to use quasi-security bodies to unleash havoc and violence in Kogi State with deadly focus on members of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
“On 26 February 2024, we urged the IGP to note that there are proven threats to the safety and security of our Tribunal witnesses and requested the intervention of the Police to investigate and curb the unlawful and illegal activities and other illegal quasi-security groups in Kogi State and bring them to justice and to call to order the owners and management of Jatto 102.7 FM Radio and to stop them from further making obnoxious announcements and inciting the public to violence.
“On 28 March 2024, one month after, we have noted with great sadness that the threats to peace and security in Kogi State have indeed escalated.
“As a responsive and responsible political party, we hereby wish to humbly inform the IGP that the threats to the safety and security of our members in Kogi State are indeed real and dangerous. We respectfully enjoin the IGP to please intervene before the situation fets out of hand.

“We have concluded plans to book a physical appointment with the Inspector General of Police IGP to pay our complaints before him again for further action

” The last petition we wrote to him in February this year about our intelligence report on the planned attacks on our members which we still have the acknowledgement copy, he directed the Kogi State Commissioner of Police to investigate out case and the Commissioner directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police DCP (Political) to handle the matter

“Rather than to do the needful immediately, the DCP wrote to invite the Party”s National Secretary to come down to Lokoja, Kogi State to come and surbstanciate out claim

“At this juncture, we are calling on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to act fast and do the needful on the Kogi State insecurity matter so as not to set the State on fire, we have been calling our people to order, we knew what we went through and now the case is at the Tribunal for abdjudication, they should allow the judiciary to complete its assignment and should Stop harassing the witnesses ”

Both the National Secretary of the Party and its National Legal Adviser, Dr Olu Agunloye and Mr Aderemi Abimbola also displayed various photo evidences of the attacks against Party members before the media

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Kogi inaugurates 22-Member OGP State Steering Committee

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja

KOGI State Government has inaugurated a 22-member Open Government Partnership (OGP) State Steering Committee comprising state and non-state actors to reinforce the state Government’s commitment to issues of Transparency, Accountability and Citizen Participation.

Dr (Mrs) Folashade Arike Ayo-Ade, Secretary to the State Government (SSG) who inaugurated the Committee on Tuesday in Lokoja, said the programme would place Kogi on the global map in the areas of Transparency, Accountability and Citizen Participation.

She described OGP as a multilateral initiative aimed at securing concrete commitments from national and Sub-national Governments to promote Open Government.

The Partnership, she added, also is geared towards empowering the citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

The SSG said that the OGP was launched in 2011 to provide an international platform for domestic Reformers ready to make their government Open, Accountable and Responsive to citizens.

“As we all know, the present administration under the dynamic Leadership of His Excellency Alhaji Usman Ododo has been in the forefront in practicing and implementing the principles of Open Government.

“The involvement of citizens in governance has assumed a whole new dimension with the appointment of men and women in all levels Government”, she said.

Asiwaju Ashiru Idris (Mukadam), the State Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning who is also Co-Chairman of the Committee said the state had recorded a lot achievements both locally and internationally in Transparency and Accountability.

He said that with the inauguration of OGP, the state would continue to wax stronger and stronger adding that Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo had directed that all monies accruing to the state be published quarterly to buttress his commitment to accountability.

The Commissioner said that the Committee would further help to roll out more strategies to enhance the implementation of the state Action Plan and enable coverage of the lost grounds.

In his Vote of Thanks, the second Co-Chairman of the OGP, Amb. Idris Ozovehe Muraina described the inauguration as a significant milestone in the collective journey towards transparency, accountability, and citizens engagement in governance.

Muraina who is also Chairman Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET), said the official inauguration of the OGP in Kogi marks “a new chapter in our efforts to foster greater transparency, enhance public participation and combat corruption.

He noted that committee had crucial role to play in holding our government accountable saying, “I believe that by working together, we can bring about positive changes and make a real difference in the lives of the people of Kogi State.

“Let us seize this opportunity to collaborate, innovate, and drive forward our shared vision of a more open and inclusive government that puts the interests of the people first.”

Muraina explained that the the OGP bill in the state was passed and assented to in 2022, adding that it was leveraging on four basic principles of Transparency, Inclusive Participation Accountability, Innovation and Ambition, based on five standards. (Ends)

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Put Politics Behind, Support Gov. Ododo – Abejide Urges Kogi People

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**Says Nov. 11, 2023 Governorship Election was freely won

By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Honorable Leke Joseph Abejide, candidate of African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the November 11, Governorship Election in Kogi, has urged people of the state to put politics behind them and support Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo to build a virile, secured and prosperous State.

Abejide, Member representing Yagba Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, made the call while addressing guests at a wedding ceremony, in Lokoja, the State capital.

The Parliamentarian urged well-meaning Kogi indigenes to keep politics in abeyance for now and give maximum support to the government to achieve progress on all fronts, reiterating his stance that the election was freely won.

According to him, there is time for politics and time for governance and presently, time for politics is over adding, “We have had our election and a winner has emerged.

“I still find it surprising that some people are still working to pull down the government because of election that was freely won, with the people’s voice heard loud and clear.

“Let me use this medium to call that we put behind the Governorship election. Let’s join hands with Gov. Usman Ahmed Ododo to build a virile Kogi State.

“All the negative things that are unsubstantiated that are not true but being said about the government and state are also affecting our development.

“Let’s give the Governor the support to work for the good of the generality of the people”, Abejide said. (Ends)

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Gov. Ododo pledges to Improve Local Security Architecture with community road networks

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

AS part of his deliberate steps to improve logistics for local security architecture in Kogi State, Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo has said that his administration will soon embark construction of network of roads in rural communities.

Governor Ododo who disclosed this while on Sallah homage to the Onyukoko-Idoji ward in Okene Local Government Area said the network of roads would link communities in different parts of the state.

Addressing a gathering of his supporters at Idoji, the governor expressed concern over the condition of the Idoji-Enyinare road promising that immediate attention would be given to the road.

This, he said, would be executed along with other roads linking local communities in different parts of the state.

He stressed that people in local communities needed to be connected by road infrastructures to enhance social and economic activities across the state.

Governor Ododo said he was well aware of the socio economic and infrastructural deficits in rural areas and pledged that his administration will not relent in closing the gaps in road infrastructure in the state for the benefit of all citizens.

The Governor expressed appreciation to the youths, women and other stakeholders in the area for the tremendous support he received during the November 11, 2023 Governorship Election.

He assured them that their welfare would receive priority attention under his leadership.

Governor Ododo however, enjoined the youths to desist from divisive tendencies but strive to sustain the prevailing peaceful coexistence in the area as he assured the community of improved logistics for the local vigilante group.

He also promised that his administration would remodel the local security architecture in the area and make it a template for other communities in the state as part of the renewed onslaught against criminals in the state.

In appreciation of the pivotal role played by people of Onyukoko-Idoji ward in his emergence as Governor, Ododo promised to accord tremendous importance to the people and the area.

He noted that their sacrifices served as the foundation for the agitation for equity in the political history of Kogi State. (Ends)

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