Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has denied reports of assassination attempt on his life by gunmen in military uniform as claimed by his Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo.
The Commissioner had earlier on Sunday issued a press statement on behalf of Kogi State government alerting the public to failed assassination attempt on the life of the State Governor along Lokoja-Abuja while returning from an official engagement.
Fanwo had claimed that the attackers, who were dressed in military uniform, waylaid the governor’s convoy and started shooting sporadically at his vehicle and other vehicles in the convoy, noting that Governor Yahaya Bello was attacked at three different points on the Lokoja-Abuja highway, the last being around Kwali Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) at about 4.20 pm on Sunday evening.
Fanwo pointed out that it took the swift intervention of the security personnel attached to the governor to foil the “satanic plans of the unknown soldiers.”
But, few hours later, on his arrival in Abuja, Governor Bello dismissed the report of assassination on his life, saying it was false.
However, the governor while addressing journalists at his Abuja residence, an event that was streamed live on his verified Facebook page, confirmed that there was a fracas involving his security escorts and other security operatives at a checkpoint on the road and it was thereafter, resolved amicably.
He said: “This afternoon at about 14:00hours, I took off from Lokoja coming to Abuja and the journey was smooth along with the convoy and just about 16:00 hours, my convoy especially the security had an encounter with another sister agency and there was a fracas.
“Immediately, we waded in and it was resolved. From there, we had a smooth journey down to Abuja and ever since I came, I’ve been engaging in all the activities that brought me to Abuja and it’s been very smooth.
“Thereafter, I began to hear in the social media about assassination attempt. I want to state categorically very clear, dear Nigerians; there was no assassination attempt on me Yahaya Bello, the executive governor of Kogi State by the military or by anybody.
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“Between Kogi State and FCT, it is a secure route, thanks be to God Almighty and members of the military, the Nigeria Police, the DSS, the Navy, the Civil Defence, the vigilantes, the professional hunters and the citizens of our dear state.
“We have been able to secure that route courtesy these various agencies and bodies that I enumerated. So nobody would have attempted to assassinate me or any member of our convoy.”
He further said: “It is natural or let me put it this way, most often or sometimes, there will be misunderstanding or fracas between sister agencies that are performing their lawful duties. That sometimes cannot be ruled out but assassination attempt, there is nothing like that”.
“It has been resolved and I don’t condone any act of indiscipline, that fracas to even have happened in the first place, I’ve called on all law enforcement agencies that are around me and on the road to investigate it and ensure that whoever is culpable is punished according to the rules and regulations of the various Forces or the various Services.
“I am a law-abiding citizen and our security men have done greatly in securing our lives and livelihood. I respect men in uniform, I respect the Nigeria Army, the Nigerian Military generally, our Nigeria Police Force and all security agencies.
“All the accolades, all the awards and all the successes we have achieved today in Kogi State are as a result of the collaboration between all these agencies and my government and the people, so there is no how we at these hours that we need each other most to ensure that the Renewed Hope of our President is sustained and the dividends of democracy is delivered to our people, it is not this time and hour that we are going to have any form of misunderstanding.
“So, any unruly personnel, whether that of the Police or otherwise, I’m urging all these law enforcement agencies to investigate it and let whoever is involved to be meted with appropriate punitive action.
“Our Nigeria Police, our Nigeria Army and all the law enforcement agencies must be professional. They must respect that ethics that guide their Services and offices. We will not condone act of indiscipline.
“I sincerely thank you. The record be set straight, my life was not attempted, nobody attempted me whatsoever, just a little misunderstanding among the security agencies and it has been resolved, I can assure you.”
The governor, however, did not elaborate on what he meant by “little misunderstanding” between the security groups and how it was resolved.