- Lawmakers in Kogi state have voiced their fears caused by alleged intimidation perpetuated by persons believed to be thugs of Governor Yahaya Bello
- The lawmakers claimed that there have been several cases of assault and threat on them by the governor, adding that they cannot even visit their constituencies because of the widespread insecurity in the state
- They therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to caution Bello and call him to order in the interest of the state and Nigeria's democracy
Some lawmakers in the Kogi state National Assembly have cried out over their inability to visit their constituencies due to alleged intimidation by Governor Yahaya Bello.
Not less than eight of the twelve federal lawmakers in a joint press statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, July 31, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to caution the governor in the interest of the state and the country's democracy, Punch reports.
Some of the lawmakers in the eight-member group were Senators Dino Melaye (Kogi-west), Ahmed Ogembe (Kogi-central), and Atai Aidoko (Kogi-east). The House of Representatives members are Karim Sunday, Yusuf Ayo, Tajudeen, Egwu Emmanuel, Benjamin Okolo and Omale Atayoma.
They detailed series of alleged acts of intimidation against them and their supporters by the governor right from 2017.
According to them the latest of such actions, was the prevention of Ogembe from entering Okene on Saturday, July 28, by rascal loyalists of Bello, who in March 2018, disrupted an empowerment programme organised by the senator and chased away the attendees.
Moreover, the lawmakers claimed that it was obvious to all eyewitnesses of the developments in the state that the assault on Ogembe were also unleashed on other lawmakers in the state at different times.
The statement read: “This cry has become imperative because persons holding contrary or alternative political views with Governor Yahaya Bello can no longer move freely within the state, neither can they hold political meetings or conduct political activities such as town hall meetings, and constituency empowerment programmes without violent interruption by the state government and its agents.
“The governor has muzzled the state legislators, flagrantly disobeyed the pronouncements of the courts and acting as lord unto himself, and no one else can challenge him in any manner whatsoever despite our constitutional democracy and its well entrenched, time-tested principle of checks and balances.
“If, as legislators, we are prevented from constituency visits, and our empowerment programmes are violently disrupted by the governor, one wonders how it would be possible for elections to hold without violence in 2019.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that Kogi West Elders Forum (KWEF), a faction of the Kogi state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), hd rejected Melaye, representing Kogi west, who recently announced his defection back to the party.
The group claimed that Melaye cannot be given automatic ticket to recontest for the Kogi west senatorial seat. They accused the senator of being too controversial for the party and claimed he had lost his popularity among the masses and so cannot win any election.
Kogi West senatorial district to recall senator Dino Melaye from the Nigerian Senate - On NAIJ.com TV