Controversy Trails Alleged Stoning of Kogi Gov. in Lokoja Mosque

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There were reports, albeit hurriedly denied that Irate youth on Friday in Lokoja Central Mosque, Kogi State, allegedly pelted Governor Yahaya Bello with Stones during the Jumaat prayers.

An eyewitness accounts said the action against the Governor may have been due to allegations of corruption peddled against the administration by a non-governmental organisation in the state.

However, a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Kingsley Fanwo denied that there was any attack on the governor during the prayer but said some sponsored miscreants were caught with stones with which they attacked a security aide of the governor.

The Jumaat prayer was part of the 25th anniversary of Kogi State creation, where the Governor allegedly arrived after the prayer had started.

An eyewitness said, “Having lost one raqa’at prayer due to lateness, governor Bello was not allowed to complete the remaining raqa’at, as some youths began to boo him inside the mosque which eventually led to the discontinuation of the prayers apparently based on security advice.

“As if that was not enough, the remaining youths outside the mosque who had laid siege began to pelt stones at the sight of the governor who was seen coming out of the Mosque.

“The situation eventually snowballed into total confusion leading the security agents to start shooting sporadically into the air to scare the youths away. The youths who were undeterred were seeing seen picking expired cans of gas canisters shot by the police and throwing them back at them.

According to Fanwo, “Our attention has been drawn to the unfortunate incident, which occurred after the Jumaat Prayer at the Lokoja Central Mosque to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the creation of Kogi State.

“It was discovered that some sponsored miscreants caused a mild drama as they were caught with stones while one of them attacked one of the security aides attached to the Government House shortly after the Governor departed the area.

“The gallant market women at the Lokoja Old Market accosted the perpetrators and stopped them from absconding from the scene in solidarity with the Governor.

“The Governor wishes to thank the market women and security agencies, who rose to the occasion to protect lives and property at the scene of the unfortunate incident. No life was lost and no serious injury was recorded.

“We can also confirm that arrests have been made and those arrested are already giving useful information to security agents investigating the politically motivated attack at the Mosque.