Tension in Kogi as Armed Hoodlums Set Fire to SDP Office

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Barely five days to the governorship election in Kogi State, unknown persons suspected to be thugs have set fire to the secretariat of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Lokoja, the state capital.

It was gathered that the building was razed yesterday at about 1a.m. with valuable items such as furniture, documents, electrical equipment and campaign materials burnt.

The building, which is located few metres away to the state police command headquarters in Lokoja, was reported vandalised on Saturday, by suspected armed thugs.

It was learnt that the SDP rented the building from AVM Ndatsu Umaru (rtd), a former military governor of Kwara and Kano states.

When contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Akeem Busari, confirmed the incident and said the police had launched investigation into the arson with a view to identifying and bringing the perpetrators to book.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that incidence of attacks had increased in the state in the past few days, causing fear and tension among the residents.

In his reaction, the state Chairman of the SDP, Alhaji Mukhtar Atima, accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of being behind the attack.

He said the obvious fear of defeat starring APC in the face made it to “release their boys to unleash terror on our party.”

Aside this, he said that the governorship candidate of the party, Mrs. Natasha Akpoti had been receiving threats from some quarters.

“No amount of harassment and destruction will deter the party and its governorship candidate from contesting and winning the November 16 election,” he said .

He appealed to party members and supporters to remain peaceful and not to be deterred by provocative and uncivil conducts of members of the ruling party.

The Chairman, Media Committee, Bello/Onoja Campaign Organisation, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, denied allegations that the hoodlums were sponsored by the APC.

He said that Bello and the leadership of the party were currently engaged in rigorous campaigns , saying that ” there is no time for irrelevant issues now.”