– PDP says Safiu Ibrahim , a recent defector was abducted by the Govt
– Kogi Govt urges security agencies to invite Natasha Akpoti, Uduaghan, PDP for questioning
Ahead of the 2023 general ELECTIONS, the Kogi state government and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have engaged in a battle of words over the arrest of one Safiu Ibrahim who was arrested last week at Trademore Estate Lugbe in Abuja.
Following the arrest operation which threw Nigerians into a frenzy, the Peoples Democratic Party in the state raised alarm, accusing the state government of masterminding what it described as “an abduction of a recent defector from the All Progressives Congress.”
The Party, in a statementby the PDP Presidential Election Management Committee, signed by its Spokesperson, Faruk Adejoh-Audu, explained that the defector, Ibrahim was abducted at his residence at Trademore Estate, Lugbe-Abuja road by gunmen outfitted in military camouflage and alleged to be led by one Naval officer, Charles, said to be working with a Special Navy Squad positioned at the residence of Governor Yahaya Bello in Okene.
“We recall that in 2019, at Okene, the Local Government PDP Chairman, Mr Musa Adelabu, was equally abducted by armed men in military camouflage and has not been seen again. We have cried out and petitioned various security agencies to no avail. Since nobody could immediately recognise any of the gunmen in that abduction, they had been comfortable to decide an unknown fate for him. Nobody knows if he’s still alive or not. But we have maintained that he is a victim of Mr Yahaya Bello’s regime of violence.
“But in this case, the Naval Officer identified as Charles has been recognised as the leader of the gang of armed men that stormed the house of Ibrahim to abduct him at about 11am on Monday October 24, 2022.
“We hereby condemn the eager connivance of security agencies in Kogi State in perpetuating and sustaining the APC regime of violence, intimidation and terror in the state.”
The PDP alleged that so far all the thugs who unleashed the bloodletting across the state were walking around either as free men or were pardoned by the government of Yahaya Bello from incarceration.
“We have no doubt that the abduction of Mallam Ibrahim in Abuja is a prelude to the violence to be unleashed on supporters of the PDP and other parties opposed to the APC in Kogi as threatened by Bello.
“Mallam Ibrahim publicly renounced the APC only on Sunday, October 9, 2022 in Okene to the displeasure of Bello’s government with the Governors Chief Of Staff, Abdulkareem Asuku, openly attacking the defector as an ungrateful person.
The Chief of Staff and the now-abducted defector have been engaged in a public war of words ever since.
The party added, “Last week, Mallam Ibrahim released an audio tape alleging that the Chief of Staff had previously given him a gun to use for thuggery while declaring that he now preferred the PDP because he was offered an alternative life free from violence and thuggery.
“He claimed Asuku thereafter had called to threaten his life for having the effrontery to decamp to the PDP.
“Reacting, Mr Asuku in a now viral video admitted calling Ibrahim on phone but denied threatening his life. He however insisted that the defector was an ungrateful person who despite been released from a long prison term by Governor Bello’s fiat and given lots of assistance had turned full circle to bite the fingers that fed him by decamping to the PDP.
“This abduction coming after this altercation is an act of malice by a government that has gained a notoriety for unleashing disproportionate overwhelming violence on acts of dissent.
“We call on the Inspector-General of Police, The Director-General of the Department of State Services, the Chief of Defence Staff and all the service chiefs to stand up to this occasion.”
Terrorism: Kogi Govt asks security agencies to invite Natasha Uduaghan for questioning
Meanwhile, the Kogi State Government has called on heads of security agencies in Nigeria to invite the Senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the central senatorial district of the state, Mrs Natasha Akpoti Uduaghan, for questioning over alleged terrorism-related activities capable of dragging the state back to “the dark era”.
Kingsley Fanwo, the State Commissioner for Information and Communications, in a statement alleged that Mrs Natasha Uduaghan had exhibited enough actions to be invited over terrorism-related activities, especially with the manner by which the PDP and organisations linked to Natasha had been advocating for the release of Ibrahim whom the government called an “arrested terrorist.”
The government said despite heavy security interventions by the present administration to rid the state of terrorism, it was worried that politicians had deliberately continued to groom terrorists in the state as well as import them from neighbouring states.
“It is worrisome for the PDP that Natasha represents to come out openly to identify with Safiu, a terror suspect that is linked to the bloody attack on a church in Owo that led to the death of scores of worshippers. He is also linked to the dastardly attack on the Kuje Correctional Center as well as military formations within and outside of Kogi State.
“It was a thing of relief to the people of Kogi Central that security agencies were able to apprehend their Chief Tormentor. Criminality doesn’t know political party. A criminal is a criminal and should be treated as such,” Fanwo said.
He noted, “Prior to 2016, the Kogi Central Senatorial District was a terrorist den, with dangerous terrorist organisations having cells in the District and hundreds were maimed, many in broad daylight. The Government will not allow a continuation of the old order.
“The fact that they (PDP) claimed Safiu was their party member is an admission of strong links to him and his nefarious and deadly activities. As an administration, we are witnessing a surge in criminality in Kogi Central. Available data shows that Kogi Central today accounts for 51.2% of the total crime rate in Kogi State. With the billions of naira we have invested in strengthening our security architecture that has guaranteed peace in the state, we will not accept a revert into the days of bloodbaths.
“The Kogi State Government will not allow a marriage between terrorism and politics. Nigeria is doing everything possible now to win the battle against terrorism. Kogi State under Governor Yahaya Bello has won many awards in the area of security, the most recent being the one presented by the President and Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, in recognition of how the administration has turned one of the most dangerous states in Nigeria to one of the safest states today.
“We call on security agencies to arrest defenders of terrorists and ask them their levels of involvement. No matter how smart they think they are, they cannot beat our robust security architecture.”
The Kogi Government assured the people of the state of its continued commitment to securing their lives and property.
“Security agencies are doing a great job in Kogi State and we commend them for that. To get to the root of the last vestiges of terrorism in Kogi Central, there is a need to invite Natasha Uduaghan and her husband as well as PDP party leaders in Kogi Central to explain the rationale behind their vociferous defence of an arrested terrorist,” the statement said.
“Do they have a contract with some terrorist groups to distabilize the state? Are they afraid that Safiu and other arrested terrorists will expose their dirty and bloody deals? What do they know about some terror cells in Kogi Central? They need to provide answers,” the statement added.