Bello’s ADC, Thugs Invade Kogi NUJ, Allege Electoral Fraud

Governor Yahaya Bello

Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja

The Aide de Camp (ADC) to Kogi State Governor, Usman Shugaba Saturday invaded Kogi State Union of the Nigeria Union of Journalists with over 50 armed policemen, alleging that ballot papers were being thump-printed at the secretariat.

THISDAY learnt that the ADC alongside the thugs invaded NUJ in search of ballot boxes, which they claimed, might be hidden in the secretariat.

The ADC, who arrived NUJ located at Lord Lugard road in twelve Hilux vehicles with stern looking thugs and policemen, claimed that they had information that ballot papers are been thump printed.

After ransacking the entire premise, the ADC alongside his men left the NUJ secretariat, though with a promise to continue their search.

During the siege of the NUJ secretariat, THISDAY learnt that the thugs and police officers that accompanied the ADC to the secretariat did not meet any journalist apart from the operators of the bar and those working in the centre.

In a response, however, the leadership condemned in strong terms the invasion of the secretariat of harmless journalists who were answering duty call at the time of the invasion.

Meanwhile, four persons were shot in Lokoja by some hoodlums. One of the victims was conveyed to the NUJ Clinic by a Hillux van with Registration Number: KG01BAS.

Also, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the state House of Assembly election across Mopamuro Local Government Area of Kogi state.

The Electoral Officer, Mopamuro LGA, Mr. Opanachi Ojodale disclosed this at the INEC office in Mopa, noting that the election was postponed to Sunday March 10, due to wrong ballot papers that were taken to the area.

According to Ojodale, the ballot papers belonging to Akpa LGA in Kogi East, were taken to Mopamuro LGA, development that was discovered in the early hours of Saturday.

He said the new ballot papers for Mopamuro would arrive the LG office later in the day from Abuja

Meanwhile, some youths of Orokere community had conducted a peaceful demonstration to the palace of their traditional ruler to protest against the alleged importation of thugs to their community by suspected opposition party members.

The youths alleged that the thugs were imported by some politicians in the area to cause mayhem and disrupt the electoral process.

The youth leader, Mr Segun Peter, who spoke on behalf of the youths at the palace, urged the monarch to call the politicians to order so as to forestall a breakdown of law and order during the elections.

“The thugs threatened to disrupt the electoral process in the community, and unleash terror on members of opposition parties. The thugs also threatened that voters, who have decided not to vote for their candidates should not bother to come out to vote.

“We are peace-loving people, our youths are ready to stand firm and resist any form of intimidation to protect our votes,” Peter said.

The monarch, Chief Ajayi Mejedi, the Ajugbonjagun of Orokere land, commended the youths for the peaceful protest and promised to call the people mentioned to order.

“This election will be different; nobody should foment any form of trouble before, during, and after the election,” the monarch warned.

He urged the people to go out and cast their votes peacefully for the candidates of their choice.