Ibrahim Oyewale in Lokoja
The Kogi Police State Command has confirmed the arrest of two persons caught yesterday midnight allegedly carrying out ‘smear campaign against President Muhammadu Buhari’ in Lokoja, the state capital.
The state Police Commissioner, Ayuba Edeh, explained that at about 2:30 a.m. yesterday, policemen attached to the command arrested two young men who were allegedly painting buildings and carrying posters with the inscription ‘Buhari Must Go’.
Edeh disclosed that while the people have the right to protest, however, he said it must be done lawfully without inciting the public.
He added that the young men could not have been protesting at the wee hours of the night as being insinuated, as painting walls, buildings and pasting anti-Buhari posters cannot be termed as peaceful protest.
The commissioner said the police command was working round the state to ensure the protection of lives and property, warning mischief makers to stay clear of the state, as he promised that his command would fish out and arrest perpetrators of crimes in the state.
It was gathered that at an odd hour of yesterday, some youths allegedly invaded Lokoja, campaigning against President Buhari through paintings on buildings as well as carrying posters with the inscription ‘Buhari Must Go’.
Meanwhile the state government has commended “the gallant and vigilant youths of the state for rising to the occasion to crush the ungodly campaign by some imported and sponsored youths, who came to the state to campaign against President Buhari.”
The state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Kingsley Fanwo, alleged that some youths had gathered in Benue State from where they moved to Kogi State to paint walls as well as display anti-Buhari posters that were printed in a South-south state.
Fanwo pointed out the Kogi youths, “who are ardent supporters of President Buhari, apprehended the ‘sponsored hoodlums’ and handed them over to law enforcement agents for possible prosecution for violating the environmental laws of Kogi State as well as disturbing the peace of the people.”
According to him, “We are placing it on record that the fanatical followership of the president by Kogi people is borne out of our faith in his integrity and quality leadership. Kogi is Buhari and Buhari is Kogi.
“The Kogi State Government hereby sounds a note of warning to all agents of destabilisation to steer clear of our state in their bid to play divisive, destructive, destabilising and debilitating politics. The state is focused on development and commitment to improving the living standards of the people.
“For us, President Buhari is more than a national leader. He represents an ideology that protects the poor and the weak; an ideology of transparency and accountability; and an ideology of security and stability. These are the unfailing strings that bind us with the president.
“We urge Nigerians from all walks of life to continue to give their support to the president.”