A CONDEMNATION OF THE EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLING OF CITIZENS KABIR OKWO BALA AND MRS ATIMA ABDULLAHI.
The Murtala Yakubu Ajaka Gubernatorial Campaign Organization is alarmed by the official confirmation of the Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Mr Akeem Yusuf, that the extra judicial execution of an All Peoples Congress (APC) chieftain, Mallam Kabir Okwo Bala and a housewife, Mrs Atima Abdullahi by gunmen unleashed on the Ejule Community of Ofu Local Government Area in the early hours of this morning was masterminded by the State Government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
We are indeed shocked that a Governor and the Chief Security Officer of a state could plot the cold blooded murder of citizens he had sworn to protect and defend on the altar of desperate politics.
We are aware that the late Okwo was accused of several felonies by the state commissioner of police after his execution, but we totally reject the use of these allegations, rightly or wrongly, as excuse to kill a citizen who could easily have been arrested and prosecuted over the years if indeed the state government ever considered him a criminal.
But it is worth pointing out that as admitted by Police Commissioner, Okwo was freed from prison in 2018 by Governor Yahaya Bello on the grounds that he was not a criminal but a political prisoner jailed by the PDP.
It is, therefore, curious that after the invasion of Ejule last night during which his family house and several other properties were burnt down by state agents, Okwo was suddenly declared a criminal.
But the dead man now declared a criminal was a regular guest at Bello’s Lokoja Government House where he was known to have been treated as royalty.
Perhaps the Kogi State Government will be gracious enough to account to the people and the world how a man previously declared innocent and granted state pardon by the same Governor Bello degenerated into such heinous crimes to the point of engaging in gun battles with the Nigerian Navy more than one year ago yet there was never any attempt to arrest and prosecute him.
Rather, according to the commissioner, he had to be appealed to and pampered to release AK47 rifles he allegedly seized from the Navy in a firefight.
Truth is that the plot for this extra-judicial Killing was hatched after the late Okwo openly renounced his support for Mr Yahaya Bello in a now viral video and declared he will not be supporting his candidate in the impending November 11th Governorship Elections.
It was only after this declaration by the late Okwo that thugs believed to be acting at the pleasure of the Governor invaded Ejule about two weeks ago and burnt down his hotel and valuable properties.
We are also aware that relationship between the Governor and Okwo first broke down during the Presidential Elections when he was led by Ajaka to support the election of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu against the interest of Yahaya Bello who was reluctant as evident from the massive votes recorded in the Kogi East Senatorial District in contrast to the Governor’s Central Senatorial District where the APC lost four of the five Local Governments.
Few months ago, another friend of the government, one Shafiu who renounced support for Mr Bello and declared allegiance to the PDP Senatorial Candidate in the last election Mrs Natasha Uduaghan, was declared a terrorist and equally hunted down in Treadmore Housing Estate Lugbe Abuja and only escaped death because the PDP cried out.
In late March, supporters of Alhaji Ajaka including a retired Army Colonel and a lawyer were abducted by thugs of Bello enjoying the cover of compromised security personnel while traveling to Abuja and declared kidnappers and armed robbers.
Bello’s track record for framing persons, who are either opposed to or renounced his politics of violence, is indeed legendary. The list is inexhaustible .
We totally condemned this desperation and bloodletting which has become the hall mark of Mr Bello’s politics in Kogi State and we appeal to the Federal Government to rein in this person to save the lives of citizens whose only crime is that they dare to exercise their democratic rights to reject him.
▪︎ By Faruk Adejoh-Audu, Director (Communications), Murtala Ajaka Campaign Organisation.