• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Yahaya Bello: Group cautions EFCC against jingoist hiding under activism

Kogi Youth on Yahaya Bello’s case

Kogi state youth leaders have cautioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against individuals who are strengthening the public opinion that the Commission is conniving with certain opposition figures to persecute Yahaya Bello, the immediate past governor of the State.

The youth leaders said since the allegation of corruption by the EFCC against the former governor became a national discourse, “some persons who are afraid of chasing their dreams at the polls have hidden under the veneer of activism to sponsor their tribesmen to impugn on the character of ex-Governor Yahaya Bello maliciously”.

While addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Benjamin Oguche the chairman of Kogi Youth Leaders Forum, noted that those still calling for the arrest of Bello even in the face of an ongoing court process, were either uninformed or out to rubbish the image of EFCC.

The Kogi youth leaders said these individuals had consistently pursued a “we against them” agenda, causing division and hate among the ethnic groups in Kogi, spreading falsehood and propaganda to the public on the matter.

“It is sad and regrettable that the so-called corruption allegation against Bello, which remains an allegation until established in the court of law, has become an opportunity for chronic political failures to unleash their intolerance and deep-rooted frustration on a state that our founding fathers have laboured so hard to unite.

“Without credible reasons, they have been said to have mobilised resources to fight him for daring to govern a state he hails from and for overseeing a free and fair election which produced another Governor, not from their fold,” they stated.

According to them, the polarisation, ethnic and religious colouration that have been introduced in recent times into the EFCC trial of the immediate past governor calls for worry, especially among every Kogi indigene who has a firm belief in the peaceful co-existence of the state as an indivisible entity.

Bello has been having a running issue with the EFCC, which declared him wanted after he failed to show up for arraignment at the Federal High Court in Abuja where the anti-graft agency filed N80.2bn fraud charges against him.

The Nigerian Immigration Service also placed Bello on watchlist, ordering that he should be arrested anywhere he was found.

His whereabouts are currently unknown.

“While we welcome in its entirety the probe of the former Governor, we, however, reject the deliberate image smearing against him. We call on the EFCC to disregard the propaganda of ethnic agents and face the task of diligent prosecution,” the Kogi Youth Leaders advised.