Sunday, April 11, 2021

Nigeria will be safe when politicians stop using thugs — Yahaya Bello


Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a 30-year-old graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, says Nigeria will be a safe place to live in when politicians stop the use of thugs and criminals during elections.

The governor stated this on Wednesday while featuring on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme monitored by The Punch.

According to him, thugs who were used and dumped by politicians during elections are the ones metamorphosing into “hydra-headed monster” and criminal elements terrrorising Nigerians.

Mr Bello added that before he came on board, political thuggery was the norm in Kogi State, but “refused to play that kind of dangerous or unnecessary politics”.

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He said: “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.

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“Once the political exercise is over, the so-called boys or thugs or foot soldiers would be abandoned and then 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 history and intelligence to that across the country.

“But I refused to play that kind of dangerous or unnecessary politics when I came on board. My ascension to office is known to everybody in the world. I chose my path immediately and decided to deal with criminals irrespective of political affiliations by using the laws passed by the Kogi State House of Assembly and the existing security architecture.”

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Speaking on the U.S visa ban on some individuals in the state, following the killing a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Women Leader, Acheju Abuh during the November 16, 2019 Kogi State Governorship Election, the governor stated that he never used thugs during the election.

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He said, “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 things 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.

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“There was no time in my campaign that any of my followers goes into the destruction of billboards, signposts or installations of the state government, before, during and after the election.”

He further said the killers of the PDP women leader would be brought to justice.

“Some persons might allude to the unfortunate incident that led to the death of the PDP women leader in one of the local governments. Investigations are still on and I have promised that I am going to prosecute that case to the letter to prove who I am. The information out there are completely false,” the governor stated.

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