The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused Governor Yahaya Bello and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of complicity in the recent attacks that disrupted its gubernatorial primary election in Lokoja, Kogi State.
Unknown gunmen invaded the venue of the election, Lokoja Confluence Stadium, and disrupted the process.
According to reports, voting had ended and the sorting of votes was going on when the gunmen came to the venue at about 1:45 a.m. and started shooting from different directions.
Newsmen reported that votes in eight out of the 10 ballot boxes had already been counted and sorted before the disruption by the gunmen.
Aspirants, delegates, and others scampered for safety while the number of casualties is yet to be ascertained as at the time of filing this report.
Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa, the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, was one of those who escaped from the venue.
Reacting to the incident, the PDP in a statement by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the resort to violence cannot save the governor and his party.
He said the people of Kogi State will use every means available in a democracy to confront and vanquish APC’s alleged evil plots ahead of the November governorship election.
“It is clear to all that Governor Yahaya Bello has become chaotic in the face of his rejection by the people as well as the soaring popularity of the PDP in Kogi State, and has now resorted to violence in a failed desperate attempt to prevent our party from presenting a candidate for the election.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP had a peaceful, decent, clean, clear, credible and transparent process in the conduct of our primary. Accredited delegates had voted and the balloting had been concluded in a very orderly manner before the vicious attack by the gunmen, who were shouting pro-Bello mantra and accompanied by known APC faces.”
He said the PDP only pities Mr Bello and the APC because the PDP processes are still intact and nothing can sway the party’s resolve and the strong will of the people of Kogi to kick APC out of office in November.
“‘This is more so as the attack has further united our governorship aspirants, critical stakeholders, leaders and teeming members and supporters across the state for a common front against Yahaya Bello and the APC.”
“Indeed, nothing can detract from this, as the attack has further united and bolstered the people of Kogi state to remain behind our party in the decisive struggle and the noble objective to liberate their state from the violent and suppressive forces.”
“Our message to Yahaya Bello and the APC is that their days in office are already numbered and that they cannot stay a day beyond the stipulated hand-over date.”
Mr. Ologbondiyan said the governor should have known the people of Kogi state have never in history bowed in subjugation to anybody no matter the force or intimidation.
“That spirit of resistance to oppression and force has been triggered and we caution the APC to steer clear of the wrath of the people, who have decided to take back their state by voting in the PDP, come November 16.” He said.
Meanwhile, the governor has described the shooting incident, which took place early hours of Wednesday as sad and unfortunate.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Muhammed Onogwu, the governor directed security agents to get to the root of the matter.