Amid conflicting narratives as to what transpired between his convoy and soldiers manning a checkpoint between Kwali and the Abuja city centre, the governor of Kogi State, A has come out to tell his side of the story, which he describes as a minor event.
His story: “This afternoon at about 14:00hours, I took off from Lokoja coming to Abuja and the journey was smooth along with the convoy and just about 16:00 hours, my convoy especially the security had an encounter with another sister agency and there was a fracas.
“Immediately, we waded in and it was resolved. From there, we had a smooth journey down to Abuja and ever since I came, I’ve been engaging in all the activities that brought me to Abuja and it’s been very smooth.
“Thereafter, I began to hear in the social media about assassination attempt. I want to state categorically very clear, dear Nigerians, there was no assassination attempt on me Yahaya Bello, the executive governor of Kogi State by the military or by anybody.
“Between Kogi State and FCT, it is a secure route, thanks be to God Almighty and members of the military, the Nigeria Police, the DSS, the Navy, the Civil Defence, the vigilantes, the professional hunters and the citizens of our dear state.
“We have been able to secure that route courtesy these various agencies and bodies that I enumerated. So nobody would have attempted to assassinate me or any member of our convoy.
“It is natural or let me put it this way, most often or sometimes, there will be misunderstanding or fracas between sister agencies that are performing their lawful duties. That sometimes cannot be ruled out but assassination attempt, there is nothing like that.
“It has been resolved and I don’t condone any act of indiscipline, that fracas to even have happened in the first place, I’ve called on all law enforcement agencies that are around me and on the road to investigate it and ensure that whoever is culpable is punished according to the rules and regulations of the various Forces or the various Services.
“I am a law-abiding citizen and our security men have done greatly in securing our lives and livelihood. I respect men in uniform, I respect the Nigeria Army, the Nigerian Military generally, our Nigeria Police Force and all security agencies.”
Everyday.ng reports that details have in Abuja and on social media, that the men described by the Kogi State government as “Unknown soldiers” that fired at Governor Yahaya Bello were actually on lawful duty manning a checkpoint when they were assaulted by security details and thugs travelling with the governor.
Police and Military authorities maintained a studied silence in Abuja on Sunday, “because of the calibre of political figure involved in the show of shame, but Monday will come with clarifications,” a source said.
But not so on social media where photos and lacerating comments continued to flow by opponents of the governor.
One of the photos showed a soldier who was allegedly stabbed by a policeman attached to the governor.
Recall that the Kogi State government had alleged that its chief executive, Governor Yahaya Bello, was attacked by gunmen dressed in military uniforms.
The alleged attack took place late afternoon on Sunday near Kwali in the Federal Capital Territory, the state commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo said in a statement.
On Saturday, the gubernatorial candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Mr. Murtala Ajaka had also alleged that himself and his convoy were attacked in Kogi State on Wednesday night by thugs that included an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP).
The ASP, Ajaka said in a statement, confessed he was detailed to give cover to the thugs that shot at his convoy.
Bello was on his way to the Federal Capital City for an official engagement when the attack on him happened.
Fanwo’s statement said: “The attackers who were dressed in military uniforms waylaid the Governor’s convoy and started shooting sporadically at his vehicle and other vehicles in the convoy.
“It took the swift intervention of the security personnel attached to the Governor to foil the satanic plans of the unknown soldiers.
“The attacks were at three different points, the last barricade being around Kwali Federal Capital Territory at about [sic] 4.20pm.
“The report of these strange attacks has been properly documented at security offices in the state and at the national level for prompt and thorough investigations to avert future occurrences.
“We are not oblivious of the fact that certain elements are bent on painting Kogi unsafe ahead of the Governorship Poll slated for November 11, 2023.
“As an administration, we will spare nothing to ensure our citizens are not subjected to security threats by desperate politicians sponsoring violence and terrorism.
“We call on the citizens to remain vigilant and report suspicious movements in the domain to relevant security agencies.
“It is the responsibility of the Government to ensure security and we want to assure you that the peace we have enjoyed as a state in the last eight years won’t be lost on the altar of violent politics.”