Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders in Kogi State, have raised the alarm over the regime of violence and total breakdown of law and order in the state.
Consequently, the stakeholders called on the National Peace Committee under the leadership of Abdulsalami Abubakar, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Inspector General of Police, National Security Adviser, Service Chiefs, Civil Society Organizations and the international community to pay special attention to the state ahead of the forthcoming election.
Samuel Ohotu, State PDP Chairman blamed the attacks on its members on the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).
He also called on the police to conduct thorough investigation into allegations of arms stockpile and the training of armed bearing militia in the state under the guise of vigilantes.
Ohotu also called for the dismantling of all training camps and confiscation of illegal arms in their custody.
He said: “The Kogi State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is constrained to bring to the attention of the Nigerian public and the international community the ominously dangerous security situation in the State which is attributable to the ruthlessness and excessive intolerance of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which has degenerated into home grown insecurity and State-sponsored violence.
“This has led to a worrisome pattern of intimidation, harassment, unprovoked disruption of political meetings and gatherings which invariably involves the infliction of injuries to our party members and innocent citizens. It also involves the destruction of campaign materials of opposition party candidates like posters, banners and bill boards all over the State. These incidents of violence and thuggery have become more brazen, dangerous and rampant in all the three Senatorial districts of the State in the last few weeks.
“The foregoing is a recipe for chaos and a flagrant attempt to circumscribe our right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association as well as our right to take part in the government of our country as guaranteed by Articles 20 and 21 of the United Nations Fundamental Human Rights, Articles 10 and 13 of the African Chartter on Human and Peoples’ Rights as well as Section 14 (1) (c) and Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).”
The PDP Chairman listed areas in the state that has witnessed what he called state-sponsored violence against PDP members to include: Aiyetoro-Gbede, Ayingba, Abocho Ward, Iyale, Ologba, Abocho, Ogane-Enugu among others. Some party members, he claimed, have lost their lives as a result of violence, even as he said others are still in various hospitals after surviving several injuries.
OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja