Abuja – The camp of Social Democratic Party governorship candidate in Kogi State, Murtala Ajaka, has again accused Governor Yahaya Bello of orchestrating the recent attack on their convoy in Lokoja.
The claim was made by the SDP spokesman, Faruk Adejoh-Audu, when he featured on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ on Monday night.
Bello, had in a statement signed by his Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, alleged that his convoy was blocked and attacked by gunmen he suspected was supporters of Ajaka near the naval base, a few kilometres from Lokoja.
The governor claimed the armed thugs started shooting sporadically at his convoy after they sighted him.
But Adejoh-Audu denied the allegation, saying it wasn’t a true reflection of what happened.
“It was an orchestrated attack. The incident happened around 12.40 pm. We didn’t block the road. The truth of the matter was that things happened very quickly. And as the time we discovered what was going on, the road has been blocked while some gunmen opened fire on the car of our candidate (SDP), Alhaji Murtala Ajaka.
“At a point, two outriders on power bikes came past. I wasn’t in the car of the candidate but in another car. Those of us who were behind were hearing the sirens but it wasn’t like a convoy per se. The candidate was on his way from Abuja and only stop to pay homage to a first-class traditional ruler, the Attah Igala in Idah.
“Now after we left, a lot of people most of who we didn’t know including motorbike riders followed the convoy. Some other people on the bridge turned and followed us. At a point, the convoy got extended even beyond our own control. Before we got to Lokoja, there was a place called ‘the banda’ (sic). That is where you have the naval base.
“The car (Ajaka) also stopped to greet some people. One of them is a commissioner in Yahaya Bello’s government. His name is Bashir Gegu. You remembered I told you he just left the APC?
“Gebu was in a pick-up (hilux) and another pick-up came and crossed the road. The next thing we heard was gunshots. They started shooting. There was panic everywhere. Some people even jumped out of their cars. But the obvious target was the car of our principal.
“The only thing that saved him was that the car was an armoured car. The bullets that rained on the car didn’t penetrate. But not every other person was as lucky as he was. It was an orchestrated attack. A senior advocate of Nigeria, Shuaibu Aruwa, was affected. His own car was penetrated.”
On what he thinks can be done to prevent innocent people in the state from getting caught in the crossfire of fire before the election period, the SDP spokesman said only President Bola Tinubu can call Bello to order.
He claimed that the reason why the Kogi governor became too powerful was that he was indulged by former President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), who never intervened in any reported violence in the state.
He said, “It is a very simple thing. We have a new president and new federal government unlike in the last eight years where several people have been killed and nothing ever happened. So that courage and confidence that I can always get away with whatever I do since the president is from my party is there.
“If the new government sends out a strong signal that ‘Look, we are democrats. We’re not going to allow the blood of people (be spilled) in the name of election, I think it will cease.