Editor's note: Public affairs analyst, Ekele Sunday based in Lokoja, the capital of Kogi state, writes on the recent political situation in the north-central state, which has kept the state in turmoil for a while now.
More facts are beginning to unravel about the level some political figures in Kogi State are ready to go in order to capture power and regain their political relevance.
Following the shocking revelation by police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, about the culpable involvement of the senator representing Kogi West at the red chamber of the National Assembly, Senator Dino Maleye, in the case of two nabbed suspected armed criminals there has been a fresh insight implicating a member of the Kogi state House of Assembly and other politicians of having a stained notorious history in Kogi state.
The suspects had alleged while being interrogated by the police that they were on the payroll of the embattled senator.
Investigations have also found out that a sitting lawmaker in the Kogi state House of Assembly, Honourable Friday Abdul Sani who is wanted by the long arm of the law for countless criminal acts in Kogi state since 2007 has also been fingered.
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It would be recalled that between 2003 through 2012, based on the official documents that emanated from the Department of State Service (DSS), Friday Abdul Sani was a man who was entangled in diverse act of criminality while he tormented every persons that crossed his path. The honourable member back then together with his gang popularly called ‘Ajana Mopol’ were known within the state’s terrain for wreaking havoc and causing mayhem. From the landslide of evidence available, Friday Abdul Sani’s era was a “reign of terror” in Kogi state that many visit with fear and would otherwise, want to forget too soon.
Although the criminality of Friday Abdul Sani has been downplayed by the local media in the state out of the fear that the media outlet that would be brave enough to do so might be visited with tragedy, including physical attacks that can lead to death of prominent figures in such organizations or the particular journalist who dares the devil. It is also shocking to learn that even the diverse security agencies in the state were handicapped in handling this situation, even while they acknowledged the existence of a terrorist of Friday Abdul Sani’s pedigree, they yet remained calm and allow a popular crime perpetrator to hold a public office.
Be reminded/informed that between 2004 and 2007, it was documented that Abdul Sani committed atrocities and deadly attacks across Kogi state, for which, unfortunately, he received a lot of accolades from some political players. One worthy to note was the alleged murder of Samaila Ejima on December 14, 2004. Although the police made some arrests at the beginning of the case, there were suspected foul play as enquiries by the concerned Odolu community members from the then commissioner of police revealed that the case was transferred to the Force Headquarters in Abuja and that the suspect arrested, Mohammed Omolayo, A.k.a Lessgo, escaped from police custody. That was the shocking end of that episode.
As at 2007, the group had become dreaded terror group and had spread their tentacles in different part of the state with smaller terror affiliates hiding under the canopy of ‘positive youths’ and ‘Aluta youths.’ These smaller groups were said get their financing from ransoms, extortions and illegal collection of revenue from timber contractors from part of Enugu state.
When the 2007 election drew near, the dreaded pro-government militia group embarked on a violent operation as they engaged in an overhauling clearance operation for persons in politics. Activities they engaged in ranged from murder, attempted murder, intimidation, abduction, extortion and repeated threats of prominent oppositions to the then power in government. Their activity was general knowledge to persons in the political terrain of the state who were not in shock while the so called political thug bagged a political appointment during the administration of Governor Idris Wada.
In the months of May and November 2008, residents of Okanwili, Ofodo, Agbokete and Ogbogbo communities were attacked and sacked by Friday Abdul Sani led militants. Properties belonging to a former commissioner for health, Honourable Martin Onu Idakwo and Alhaji Yakubu Abuh were vandalized. During this period, Dekina local government council was attacked and an innocent Pre-National Diploma student of the Federal Polytechnic Idah was gunned down while coming out from the mosque. Also, cars belonging to Honourable Ernest Abah and Jacob Edime were burnt. In Agbokete community, an 80 year old man, Adebo Abutu was beaten to death.
As far as the people of Igalamela/Odolu constituency and entire Kogi state are concerned, the supreme law of Karma has caught up with Friday Sani. Honourable Friday Sani used other four members out of the 24 members of the Assembly to impeach Rt Hon Momoh Jimoh Lawal in 2016. He defended his action in all forums because he was picking from the table of men at the Luguard House. Having been identified as a man who has reputation of feeding fat from crisis, Bello’s executive discarded him immediately. Adding salt to injuries, he is also a forerunner of the fugitive group named “Save Kogi initiatives” a group which is aimed at offering “salvation” to Kogi state.
Another leading figure in the ill-fated “Save Kogi Group” is the senator representing Kogi East, Attai Aidoko Ali; the most fortunate but regrettably the worst politician the senatorial district has ever had. Aidoko has been in the National Assembly close to two decades but his performance can best be described simply as colourless as he has failed his people woefully. There was a viral video showing how the people in Aidoko’s community trek over 4km before they can access water from a stream for their domestic and economic activities. The most heinous aspect of his poor leadership is in the fact after 12 years as member of the country’s House of Representative and eight years as Senator, Attai Aidoko cannot sink a single borehole in his ancestral home.
On January 38 2016, his co-traveler and Senator Dino Melaye told an Assembly Of over 30, 000 people who gathered at the Confluence Stadium in Lokoja during inauguration of Yahaya Bello as governor of Kogi state that, while the people of Kogi state voted for late Prince Abubakar Audu, God Almighty elected Yahaya Bello. He further stated that whoever fights Yahaya Bello should know he is fighting God Almighty and thousands of people chorused “Amen.” The same Dino today has declared Kogi state as “Gaza” where there shall be no peace for the government and the people.
There is no doubt that actions and inactions of the characters identified in this piece are nothing but individuals desperate for take over power using whatever means necessary, including the use of violence. Little wonder there is a surge in the number attacks on locals in several parts of Kogi state just as the general elections draw near.
The need for security agents to make all necessary efforts to bring these characters to justice by interrogating them with the sole objectives of getting to the bottom of their nefarious activities cannot be downplayed here. It is okay for politicians to want to gain power through convincing campaigns using their antecedents, but it becomes overstretched when it begins to involve acts that endanger the lives of ordinary citizens of the state.
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