Governor Yayaha Bello of Kogi State on Thursday ordered the demolition of some houses in Odu believed to be the hideout of a detained armed robbery and kidnap suspect, Zakari Yau.
The demolition of the house is backed by the state’s Anti Kidnapping, Robbery and Terrorism Law passed by the State House of Assembly and assented to by the former state governor, Idris Wada.
The Governor’s Chief press secretary, Petra Onyegbule, who was part of the demolition exercise did a count of the exits in the demolished building.
The demolition of criminal hideouts began in the Central Senatorial District, beginning specifically from Okene, the local government where the governor comes from.
Speaking on this development, Onyegbule said that the demolition exercise is a welcome development and a prayer answered, hence the jubilation by residents of the state.
He said, “This is the beginning of the purge in Kogi-East. Governor Bello has given up till April 20 to criminals to willingly drop their arms and renounce crime to be considered for amnesty vowing not to rest on his oars until the state is safe. Governor Bello noted that the state is safer than it was when he took over in January 2016 but assured citizens of the state and Nigerians that he will rid the state of criminals.
“It is a new direction. Kogi must be safe and secure for all,” the CPS to Governor Bello concluded.
Zakari Yau, who is said to be greatly feared in the underworld and currently in detention, is alleged to be the number one political thug in Kogi State, wanted for many of the politically-motivated killings not only in Kogi State, but in Benue as well.
The suspect, who has nine wives and 15 children, was arrested at a location in an operation between Okene and Akure by anti-kidnapping technical team, led by ACP Abba Kyari sometime last year.
Investigations showed that Yau was responsible for the spate of kidnappings and armed attacks witnessed on major highways in North Central states like Nasarawa, Niger, Kogi, Benue and along the Lokoja, Okene, Akure, Auchi roads.