The Kogi State government has described as frivolous, allegations by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) aspirant in the November 16, 2019 state governorship poll, Barr. Natasha Akpoti that Governor Yahaya Bello is after her life.
The Kogi State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, in a reaction Tuesday to a Facebook posting titled: “Governor Yahaya Bello’s Evil Ploy to Eliminate Me…Uses DSS Kogi to lure me to death zone,” same which was made available to The Nation, on Monday night, stated that the government was not surprised by such.
Fanwo added that Akpoti reserved the right to express her views, but that the state government was however not interested in her allegations.
On the Facebook page Natasha Akpoti Legend Ark, she further alleged the Department of State Service (DSS) in Kogi State, of being privy to the alleged plot to eliminate her.
The DSS, in a response on Tuesday, however explained that Akpoti was only invited to more shed more light on issues of insecurity in the state, for which she had alleged that it was being fueled by those in possession of arms and ammunition distributed by Bello, to prosecute the election.
“Obviously, she was just putting… framing some stories to avoid their invitation,” said Mr. Yahaya Olanrewaju of the DSS.
Natasha Akpoti Legend Ark wrote: “Between 8 and 9am today, I got two random calls from unknown (identity disclosed) numbers. The first (in pidgin English) warned me not to heed any invitation by any security agency in Kogi State as I would be attacked and killed before arriving Lokoja; while the second (calm and elderly) cautioned my safety as my interview on Channels Television last night with regards to the Appeal Court’s ruling on the Kogi State Guber elections infuriated Yahaya Bello.
“I was perplexed, naturally worried but thought to shove it off.
“At 9:46am today, I noticed a missed WhatsApp call from Mr. Tosin Ajayi Kogi State’s DG of DSS. My phone was on silent, but even when I saw his missed call, I decided to speak with my lawyers on the developments: the two strange calls and the missed call from the DSS boss.
“At exactly 12:08pm (still today), I received a text from one Micheal Elumah who signed off as the Deputy Director Operations of DSS Kogi State inviting me to the DSS station in Lokoja tomorrow.
“Text contents are connected to my Facebook post which laid blame on the Kogi State government for the deplorable security situation in the state as direct fallout of the weapons distributed during the 2019 elections.
“Dear DG DSS Kogi State, I am yet to return your call but will do so after posting this message. However, this is what I shall say; without mincing words, I stand by my posts relating the ill-fated Isanlu robbery, the incessant robbery and kidnap incidents as a direct fallout of the arms and ammunitions distributed to the youths of Kogi state to violently “win” power in bloodiest election in Nigeria’s history.
“If you search your office, you shall find several petitions I wrote from my senatorial campaigns to governorship. Your office failed to address one.
“The burning of the SDP office in Lokoja. The assault on me at the INEC’s “Peace” conference in Lokoja, where over 200 of your men stood watching while thugs hit and pushed me to the floor.
“I’m yet to hear of any arrest even when pictures and names were submitted to these petitions.
“Okene General Hospital and Federal Medical Center Lokoja have records of over 50 of my supporters who were shot and stabbed under the watch of Yahaya Bello.
“Alas, your office rushes to arrest me over a truth I wrote about the senseless killings of the poor DPO and seven of her men by the sons of guns carrying grenades.
“In conclusion dear Sir. Tosin Ajayi, I do acknowledge receipt of the text message from 09024058022, but cannot affirm the authenticity, as I do not know that number to be DSS Kogi’s officially registered line for communication.
“Buttressing the fact that I had been forewarned of Yahaya Bello’s plans to set ambush along Koton-Karfe and Lokoja to kill himself not me; I cannot put it past the fact that you are innocently playing into Yahaya Bello’s evil manipulations to eliminate a courageous and patriotic woman.
“Please, note that I await a formal written invitation properly addressed on your letter head. If this is asking too much, you are free to arrest me in my house in Abuja.
“However, my lawyers shall notify the federal DSS of these hideous ploys.”
In response to whether or not the matter was reported at any of the police stations under the Kogi Command, she explained that she was yet to as, “It just happened today.
“I haven’t done anything yet. My lawyer called DSS Kogi and confirmed a petition against me by Kogi government,” she added.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communication, however called on Nigerians to disregard the allegations.
Fanwo said that the governor remains focused on delivering on his campaign promises, and will therefore, not be distracted.
According to him: “We are not surprised by such frivolous allegations. Nigerians are tired of the antics of Natasha Akpoti. She has the right to air her views, but we are not interested in her allegations.
“Natasha Akpoti should know that Alhaji Yahaya Bello was elected to deliver democracy dividends to the good people of Kogi State. That is what he is doing now.
“Natasha was rejected at the polls. So, her own choice is to keep lamenting. She is trying to sway public perception. But, Nigerians know the truth. Kogi is a civilized state that is trying to expand her economic opportunities. We should be represented by those who understand our values and culture.