- Provide evidence, state govt tells Achuba
Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
The cold war between the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Elder Simon Achuba, and the state Governor, Yahaya Bello, has taken a dangerous dimension as Achuba Thursday expressed that his life is in danger, alleging that the governor is after his life.
He disclosed this threat to his life while addressing journalists at his official residence in Lokoja, the state capital.
But in a swift reaction, the Kogi State Government has denied the allegation, describing it “as bogus and an exhibition of a blind rage by an angry suckling with a long-term pattern of abnormal behaviour characterised by exaggerated feelings of self-importance.”
It urged the deputy governor to provide evidence to support his allegation.
The deputy governor alleged that from all information available to him, he suspected strongly that the governor had mobilised his government machinery to attack him.
According to Achuba, “This is what I want to put to the public, and draw the attention of the Inspector General of Police (IG), the Director of Department of State Services (DSS) and other law enforcement agents that if anything happens to me and my family or any of my staff, he should be held responsible.
“You cannot forcibly continue to rule the people; you are called to serve, and it is on this note that I want to appeal to law enforcement agents and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to beam his light on Kogi State because of the level of insecurity that is currently affecting the state.
“The insecurity in the state today and the fear of the people is not about arm robbery; it’s not even about kidnapping or ritual killing anymore, it is about the gunmen of the governor who terrorise the public without restrain.”
He noted that as a deputy governor, he has been traveling for the past two years, and the governor has refused to pay him his allowances.
“My salary is N385, 000. How can the governor assume that I should run the office of the deputy governor if there is no other money aside my salary?
Meanwhile, the state government has denied the allegation of threat against the life of the deputy governor.
In a statement issued yesterday by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Onogwu Mohammed, the state government described the allegation as “bogus and an exhibition of a blind rage by an angry suckling with a long-term pattern of abnormal behaviour characterised by exaggerated feelings of self-importance.
“The Kogi State Government is appalled that a deputy governor, who should epitomise leadership and good example in all senses, could descend so low to employ smear campaign against the person of Governor Yahaya Bello, and we state without equivocation that Achuba has no shred of evidence for his reckless surmising, which is nothing but a scripted venture in ruinous adventure.
“We do not train assassins, and as such, the state government or her personnel cannot be involved in sending assassins to murder any soul let alone a deputy governor of our dear state.
“Despite these unsubstantiated ramblings, however, we deemed it fit to clear the air by letting the public know that the state government would not be dragged into any form of political gerrymandering concocted for the furtherance of any person’s political interest or notoriety.”
The state government challenged Achuba to bring evidence of his claims or desist from making further spurious allegations.
“We warn Achuba, who is known to history as a man whose affinity for violence is unparalleled, not to judge us by his own standards. The report of the Kogi State Government Commission of Enquiry on the Iyaño ethnic crises in 2017 is still fresh in our memories.
“The Kogi State Government led by Alhaji Yahaya Bello, therefore, rejects the futile attempt at seeking to link it to any assassination attempt on the deputy governor, and we advise that people should desist from seeking political capital from scenarios they imagine would advance their parochial cause,” the statement noted.