Thugs attack senator in Kogi govt house, six arrested

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The Kogi State Government said six persons have been arrested in connection to the harassment of a member of the National Assembly who came on a courtesy visit to the governor in his Lugard House office in Lokoja, the state capital on Tuesday.

The governor has subsequently banned unauthorised persons from accessing the Government House while calling for the immediate prosecution of the culprits.

This was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Mohammed.

He said the lawmakers from Kogi State in the Senate and House of Representatives, had visited Governor Yahaya Bello to congratulate him on the peaceful and credible conduct of the November 11 governorship election and to pledge their loyalty to him and the incoming administration.

“Shortly after the fruitful discussion, the governor received with rude shock the news of the harassment of some of the lawmakers on their way out of the Government House and swiftly ordered the arrest of the culprits”. Mohammed said.

The governor charged security agencies to investigate the issue thoroughly and ensure that the offenders face the full wrath of the law.

His directive to the heads of security agencies reads, “Information just got to me as I left the office to the residence that one man called Suleiman and others embarrassed Senator Jubrin Echocho in the Government House. I’ve directed CSO to arrest all those involved in such a stupid act and bring them to justice immediately. I will never condone acts of hooliganism and indiscipline.”

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Meanwhile, the senator representing Kogi East in the National Assembly, Isah Echocho narrated how thugs attacked him inside the Government House, Lokoja, Kogi State.

The lawmaker, in a telephone interview with Daily Trust, said the incident happened on Tuesday immediately after a meeting with the governor.

Echocho said himself, Senator Sunday Karimi (Kogi West) and other All Progressives Congress federal lawmakers from the state had gone to pay homage to the governor after the festive season.

He said the thugs singled him out of other legislators and pounced on him, accusing him of being responsible for APC’s poor performance in the last governorship election in Kogi East senatorial district.

Though APC’s Usman Ododo won the election with 446, 237 votes, his main challenger, Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party, who came second, won the majority of his 259,052 votes in Kogi East Senatorial District.

Both Ajaka and Echocho are from the Kogi East Senatorial District.

Narrating how the incident happened, the senator said, “I was attacked by thugs in Government House Lokoja but the police rescued me.

“What happened was that all APC senators and the House of Representatives members from the state visited the governor on a courtesy call for the New Year.

“Being one of them, I was not left out. We went up and we had some brief meeting with the governor, though he expressed dissatisfaction over APC performance in Kogi East (my senatorial district) in the last governorship election.

“I told the governor that I tried all I could to convince my people to vote for the APC. I campaigned vigorously for APC in Kogi East but the people were resolute in voting for another candidate despite my efforts.

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“It is not as if APC performed woefully in the election in Kogi East. There were pockets of LGs and wards that we won. There was no other thing I could have done beyond what I did. We exchanged pleasantries with the governor, took a group photograph and left.

“As we were coming out, in front of the Governor’s Office, the thugs pounced on me that I was responsible for APC’s failure in Kogi East.

“To my surprise, they brought out knives and other weapons to attack me but police officers around were able to rescue me inside my vehicle and we zoomed off. I thank God I didn’t suffer any injury. The police were able to provide sufficient security.”

When asked if the governor was aware of the attack, he said: “The governor cannot descend so low and send thugs to attack me.

“The governor spoke with me after the attack, and he assured me that the thugs would be arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law, but I told him not to worry since I’m safe.”


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