Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, says Nigeria will be safer and more secure when politicians stop the use of thugs and criminals during elections. Bello said this on Wednesday during an interview .
“When politicians begin to stop the use of thugs, touts, or some group of criminal that is when we will begin to have safety and security,” Bello said.
The governor also stressed that he won the November 16, 2019 Governorship Poll without the use of ‘boys’ or thugs.
According to him, political thuggery and use of ‘boys’ during elections was the order of the day in Kogi before he came into power but he “refused to play that kind of dangerous politics.”
“When I came on board, I inherited a state that was largely divided along several lines. For you to aspire to be anything politically in Kogi State then, you must have what we call ‘boys’ or thugs or touts and then use it to intimidate people during political dispensations.
“Once the political exercise is over, the so-called boys or thugs or foot soldiers would be abandoned and left to themselves and by that, they breed into something else or a hydra-headed monster that you will not be able to curb at the end of the day. There are several histories, records, and intelligence to that effect across the country.
“But I refused to play that kind of dangerous or unnecessary politics when I came on board. My ascension to the office is known to everybody across the world. I chose my path immediately and decided to deal with criminals irrespective of political affiliations by simply utilising the laws passed by the Kogi State House of Assembly and the existing security architecture,” he said.
He boasted that Kogi State “run an open-door policy,” widely embraced by the residents.
Speaking further on how he was re-elected governor on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019, Bello said evidence abound to show that he won the election freely
“I won my election free and square. The police, the DSS, the military, and all law enforcement agencies have their facts. Don’t listen to the lies they peddle out there. When I see those things, I simply laugh and say how I wished they come to Kogi State to see for themselves.
“There was no time in my campaign that any of my supporters or followers goes into the destruction of billboards, signposts, or installations of the state government, before, during, and after the election. I can say this boldly.”
The governor also spoke concerning the case of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Woman Leader of Wada/Aro Campaign Council, Ochadamu Ward, Mrs Acheju Abuh who was killed by suspected political thugs after the election.
Abuh was burnt alive after the thugs invaded her house around 2.00 p.m. and poured petrol on the building before setting it ablaze.
Governor Bello assured that investigation is still going on into the incident and promised to follow-up the case till the end adding that findings will be made public.