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SDP Accuses Kogi State Government of Orchestrating Attack on Campaign Office

In a shocking development, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has accused the Kogi State Government of masterminding a violent attack on their campaign office in Lokoja. The incident, which occurred on the 9th of July, saw billboards and windows destroyed, leaving the party in dismay and seeking justice.

Dr. Arome Okeme, the State Secretary of SDP, issued a press statement on Monday, detailing the events of the attack. According to Okeme, the assault was perpetrated by a group of urchins, thugs, and arsonists who were allegedly on the state government’s payroll. The attackers launched an unprovoked assault on the SDP’s campaign office, destroying and burning party flags, campaign banners, and Nigerian national flags.

This is not the first time that SDP and its supporters have faced violence and intimidation in Kogi State. Okeme highlighted some of the past incidents, painting a grim picture of the ruling party’s tactics to suppress opposition. During the 2018 senatorial elections, the SDP candidate, Barr. Natasha Akpoti was physically assaulted by rogue security personnel and thugs allegedly affiliated with the ruling party. Two of her supporters were shot and killed, her family house was set ablaze, and many others were injured.

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In 2019, the SDP’s secretariat, located at propaganda square, was attacked and set on fire, destroying property worth millions of naira. The ruling party, under the direction of Governor Yahaya Bello, was also responsible for assaulting Barr. Natasha Akpoti during a public meeting, where she was pushed to the ground. These incidents have left SDP supporters demoralized and traumatized.

The 2019 general election in Kogi State was marred by violence and irregularities, with the governor allegedly overseeing one of the worst elections in the state’s history. Peaceful voters were shot at from helicopters, creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. The ruling party ensured that SDP’s campaign materials were torn down and set on fire, while supporters were physically assaulted and chased away from polling units, leading to their disenfranchisement.

The recent attack on the SDP campaign office is seen as another attempt by the ruling party to undermine the opposition. Dr. Okeme called upon the Inspector-General of Police to intervene and ensure that the Commissioner of Police in Kogi State investigates the incident thoroughly. Failure to do so may push SDP supporters to resort to self-help, further escalating the tension in the state.

The SDP Secretary also expressed concern over Governor Yahaya Bello’s recent actions and statements, which have belittled their candidate for the November gubernatorial election. The governor’s admission to being present during an incident where shots were fired at the SDP candidate’s bulletproof car raises serious questions about his involvement in such acts of violence.

In response to these allegations, the Kogi State Government, through the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, distanced itself from the attack on the SDP office. Fanwo emphasized that the present administration is committed to upholding the democratic process and will not tolerate any act that undermines it. He warned criminals and hoodlums to avoid the upcoming governorship poll, as the state government is determined to deal with them firmly.

While the investigation into the attack is ongoing, the police must ensure the safety of the public and maintain peace in Kogi State. The SDP’s call for justice must be heeded, and those responsible for the attack must be brought to justice. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of a fair and peaceful electoral process, where all parties can freely express their views and compete without fear of violence or intimidation.

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As the November gubernatorial election approaches, it is essential for all stakeholders, including the government, political parties, and the general public, to uphold the principles of democracy and work towards a peaceful and transparent electoral process. Only then can the people of Kogi State be truly liberated from the shackles of their current leaders and realize their aspirations for a better future.

The SDP’s allegations against the Kogi State Government are serious and should be thoroughly investigated to determine the truth. If it is found that the ruling party was indeed involved in orchestrating the attack on the SDP campaign office, it would be a grave violation of democratic principles and an affront to the rights of opposition parties to freely campaign and express their views.

Political violence and intimidation have no place in a democratic society. All political parties should be able to engage in peaceful and fair competition, without fear of physical harm or destruction of their property. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure the safety and security of all citizens, regardless of their political affiliations.

The Kogi State Government’s response, through Commissioner Kingsley Fanwo, is appreciated in condemning any act that undermines the democratic process. However, these statements must be followed by concrete actions to investigate the allegations, hold those responsible accountable, and ensure that such incidents do not recur in the future.

The police have a vital role to play in maintaining law and order, especially during election periods. They must conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the attack on the SDP campaign office, leaving no stone unturned. It is essential that the investigation is transparent and that the findings are made public, instilling confidence in the electoral process and holding those responsible accountable for their actions.

Furthermore, all political parties must refrain from making inflammatory and inciting statements that can further escalate tensions and disturb the peace in Kogi State. Political leaders should focus on issue-based campaigns and constructive dialogue, rather than resorting to violence or spreading misinformation.

The upcoming governorship poll in Kogi State is an opportunity for the people to exercise their democratic rights and choose their leaders. The election must be conducted in a free, fair, and peaceful manner, allowing all eligible voters to participate without fear or intimidation.

Security agencies must be proactive in ensuring the safety of voters, candidates, and election materials. They should work closely with all political parties to create an environment that promotes peaceful participation and protects the integrity of the electoral process.

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Ultimately, the people of Kogi State deserve a government that prioritizes their well-being, respects their rights, and works towards their development. It is the responsibility of all stakeholders, including political parties, civil society organizations, and the electorate, to uphold the principles of democracy and actively participate in the electoral process to bring about positive change.

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Ifon-Orolu Community Expresses Displeasure Over Alleged Marginalization by Adeleke’s Administration In a stunning turn of events, the Ifon-Orolu Progressives Union (IPU) has come forward to express their deep disappointment and concern regarding the alleged marginalization of their community and the entire Orolu Local Government Area by the current administration led by Governor Ademola Adeleke. The IPU, representing the voice of the people, has accused the governor of reneging on his campaign promises, leaving the community feeling neglected and undervalued. Basit Olatunji, the National Publicity Secretary of IPU, voiced the sentiments of the people, stating, “I deeply express my displeasure over the list of commissioner nominees that you recently submitted to the State House of Assembly for screening.” He continued, “We are so disheartened to find out that no son or daughter of Ifon-Osun made the list. We are not happy about this, and we feel we are deserving of a juicy position in your cabinet.” The disappointment stems from the fact that Ifon-Osun has been a staunch supporter of the governor’s party, the PDP, and has displayed unwavering loyalty throughout his campaign. With this recent list, however, the community feels let down and undervalued. They believe their support and loyalty have been disrespected and that their contributions have been disregarded. Moreover, the people of Ifon-Osun argue that the principle of federal character, as recognized by the constitution, should guide the appointment of commissioners. They emphasize that all local governments in Osun State should be represented in the cabinet to truly reflect the diverse interests and needs of the state. Basit Olatunji took the opportunity to remind Governor Adeleke of his promise to run an inclusive government during his last visit to the local government. The list of nominees, according to Olatunji, fails to portray the promised inclusiveness and raises concerns about the governor’s commitment to fulfilling his assurances. He urged the governor to address these concerns and make the people of Ifon-Orolu happy, highlighting their belief in his capacity and his supposed interest in the welfare of all Osun indigenes. The release of the list of cabinet nominees by the Speaker of the Osun Assembly, Adewale Egbedun, on July 7, 2023, has since stirred controversy and divided public opinion. The All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state has seized the opportunity to criticize the list, claiming that it demonstrates a lack of leadership capacity on the part of Governor Adeleke. The party went further to caution the citizens of the state not to expect anything productive from the appointed commissioners. However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, on the other hand, has rallied behind the governor, defending the credibility and competence of the nominated individuals, describing them as technocrats and professionals who possess the required expertise to drive Osun State forward. The list has also faced backlash from rights activists and political pundits who have raised concerns over its lack of gender balance. Out of the 25 nominees, only two are female, a blatant violation of the Beijing Convention, which emphasizes the need for a 35 percent affirmative action for women in leadership positions. As discussions and debates surrounding this sensitive issue persist, the Ifon-Orolu community anxiously awaits a response from Governor Adeleke. Their hopes remain high, as they believe that their concerns will be duly considered, and steps will be taken to rectify the perceived injustice. The fate of the cabinet nominees and the future of Ifon-Orolu’s representation in the government hang in the balance, leaving both the community and political observers eager to witness how this situation unfolds. SEO Title: Ifon-Orolu Community Decries Marginalization by Adeleke’s Administration Keywords: Ifon-Orolu Progressives Union, alleged marginalization, Ademola Adeleke, campaign promise, commissioner nominees, inclusiveness, Osun State, cabinet, Peoples Democratic Party, All Progressives Congress, gender balance

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