Gunmen Kidnap Six Ceramic Workers In Kogi

Gunmen Attack Kogi Communities, Kill Policeman And Three Others
A map of Kogi State in Nigeria’s north-central.

 

Gunmen on Wednesday morning kidnapped six staff of West African Ceramic Company in Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi State.

The incident happened in the early hours of the day within the Emiworo community under the Ajaokuta Council.

Sources say the workers were abducted while loading stones which were expected to be delivered in the ceramic site located at Itobe in the same council area.

The suspected criminals who were fully armed whisked the six victims away to a yet-to-be-disclosed destination.

READ ALSO: EFCC Arrests Couple Over Alleged N935m Ponzi Scheme In Lagos

Kaduna has been a target for kidnappers in recent times.

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, Kogi State Police Command DSP William Aya, said officers are operating in collaboration with other security agencies to see that the victims are rescued.

According to him, the operatives are still combing the bushes in the local government to see if the gunmen might be lingering close by.

Kidnappers Killed While Collecting Ransom In Kogi

Gunmen Attack Kogi Communities, Kill Policeman And Three Others
A map of Kogi State in Nigeria’s north-central.

 

It was another bad day for some criminal elements operating in Kogi State as two kidnappers were gunned down in the early hours of Tuesday while collecting ransom from the families of their victims from one of the neighboring states.

Following an actionable intelligence report, professional hunters in the Okehi Local Government Area of the Kogi ambushed the kidnappers who came out in the Abobo area behind the Nigerian Iron Ore Mining Company, Itakpe, to collect the ransom demanded before the release of their victims.

Two of the three kidnappers were killed in the process while one escaped into the bush with gunshot wounds. The captives were also freed in course of the operation.

READ ALSO: Police Discover Remains Of Lady Missing In Ondo, Ask Family To Provide Suspect

Speaking to newsmen, the Divisional Police Officer, Okehi Local Government Area, Mr. Ovanja Yakubu said men of the Nigerian Police in his division have been drafted to join the professional hunters to fetch out the third kidnapper dead or alive.

In his reaction, the Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed, maintained that the state cannot accommodate any criminal who wants to deprive the people of their peace.

The governor said he was elected and sworn-in to protect the lives and property of the people and will ensure such a covenant is kept for posterity.

He commended the professional hunters and the conventional security agencies in the state for their tireless efforts in rooting out criminal elements from the state.

Kamaru Usman Visits Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello

 

Nigerian-American welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, has visited the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello.

The welterweight champion visited the governor on Thursday shortly after he arrived in Nigeria.

He had first arrived in the nation’s capital, Abuja before proceeding to Kogi State.

The visit comes months after Usman defeated his challenger, Gilbert Burns, extending his seemingly impregnable reign at the top of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight division.

 

We Need A Sincere, Patriotic Nigerian To Fix This Nation – Yahaya Bello

 

Governor Yahaya Bello says Nigeria needs a credible and patriotic leader to fix the myriads of challenges besetting the nation.

Briefing the media after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, Governor Bello said the position of president should not be determined by zoning but by sincerity and competence.

The Kogi governor was of the opinion that the security challenges the country faces at the moment are mostly politically engineered.

According to him, fairness, justice, and equity will play a great role in restoring lasting peace in Nigeria.

Bello who said he may contest the 2023 presidential election because Nigerians have been calling him to serve, argued that competence should be the requirement for electing the next president and not his ethnicity or religion.

READ ALSO: We Don’t Have Power To Alter All Parts Of The Constitution – Deputy Senate President

A file photo of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

“For once let’s get Nigeria fixed. We have practiced a seeming rotational presidency since 1999 to date, let us evaluate our successes or achievements from this seeming rotational presidency between then, and now.

“Why don’t we simply go for the best, after all, we copy this democracy from America and some of the developed world, how many of these countries are practicing rotational presidency? You see, we are where we are today not because we are practicing rotational presidency. If you want to go by that rotational presidency, then do perfect zoning. Go by perfect rotation. And if you go by rotation and whichever way you come from, I don’t think you should exclude where I come from. That’s number one.

“Number two, let us get a credible, sincere, patriotic Nigerian to fix it,” the governor told newsmen.

Bello said when eventually he will answer the call of Nigerians to serve the nation, his first strategy will be to be fair, just, and equitable. He added that he will ensure that all persons are included regardless of tribe and religion.

He was of the opinion that once there is a sense of justice, fairness, and equity in the land, insecurity will automatically drop to the barest minimum.

‘All Nigerians’ Are Asking Me To Run For President, I Will Not Disappoint – Yahaya Bello

Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello addressed the press on November 17, 2020.
Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello addressed the press on November 17, 2020.

 

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, on Friday said he is considering running for President in 2023.

He made the comment while speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“Nigerians, the youth and women, and all Nigerians, including very objective elites are asking me to run for President in 2023,” he said.

“And I believe it is high time that we look into capacity, who can do the job, who is going to unify this country. And I think they are seeing something in me that they are asking me to come and unite and fix this country.

 

“My answer will be in the affirmative in a few time from now.

“I want to urge each and every one of us that are urging me to come to be patient. It’s a work in progress. And by the grace of God, I am not going to disappoint you when the time comes for me to give a response to that.”

Defending Buhari

Governor Bello, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress,  spent the bulk of his more than 20-minute interview defending President Muhammadu Buhari’s record, especially on restructuring and insecurity.

He said calls for restructuring Nigeria should not be made in ways that appears to antagonise the President who he said was already reshaping the country through Executive Orders granting autonomy to the judiciary and local governments.

“We got where we are today as a result of maladministration of successive administrations, not just President Muhammadu Buhari,” Governor Bello said.

“I continue to say that he has done greatly. Do we need to do more? Are there other areas to improve upon? Yes, there are several, but it is not a one-man job. It is our collective responsibility.”

Ban on Open Grazing

The Governor said while he does not criticise the decision of 17 southern Governors to ban the open grazing of cattle on Tuesday, there is a need to find solutions that accommodate others.

“I have not banned open grazing in Kogi State because there is no provision for ranching yet,” Governor Bello said.

“Should I send the millions of Fulani that are living their normal lives, that have been living with us peacefully over the years? Should I send them away? Rather, let me devise a way of integrating them by ensuring that the conflict between farmers and herders does not exist.”

He claimed that farmer-herder crisis has been solved in Kogi State “with the cooperation of my traditional rulers, the youths, farmers and even the Fulanis themselves.

“We know that the land is not enough but we can accommodate each other within the limit of what we have. We can’t just send them out.”

2023 Presidency: I Am Focused On Kogi Development, Says Yahaya Bello

Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello addressed the press on November 17, 2020.
Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello addressed the press on November 17, 2020.

 

Governor Yahaya Bello has reacted to calls for him to contest in the forthcoming 2023 presidential election noting that he is focused on delivering his mandate of developing Kogi State.

The governor said his administration’s ability to curb insecurity in Kogi State and massive youth empowerment has been attracting support leading to the calls for him to join the 2023 presidential race, a call he does not want to be distracted with.

READ ALSO: Those Who Doubt FG’s Resolve To Protect Nigerians Are Mischievous – Garba Shehu

Bello said this on Monday through his Chief Press Secretary, Nnogwu Sani Mohammed at the ongoing security and economic summit of the Northcentral Governors Forum in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

“Nigerians across all divide are calling on the Governor to run for the presidency in 2023 but His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello is totally focused and committed to delivering the mandate given to him by the people of Kogi State to run for the second term.

“By January 27, 2021, he will be one year in office, that is for the second term, so he has a lot to do and he has a lot of time to spend with the people of Kogi State to deliver the dividends of democracy to them,” Mohammed said.

He, therefore, called for support to deliver his second term mandate of rebuilding Kogi State.

Bello said the issue of the 2023 presidency should not be put on the front burner and heat the polity and assured that he is focused on his mandate of improved security, economy, and youth employment.

Health Commissioner Claims No Strange Death In Kogi, Says 46 People Died In Enugu Border Town

 

Following an alarm raised by a lawmaker representing Olamaboro Constituency in the Kogi State House of Assembly, Ujah Anthony Alewo, that 50 persons have died of a strange illness in Kogi State, the Commissioner for Health, Saka Audu has denied the report.

The Health Commissioner in an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily said 46 people died of the strange illness and the affected community is located in a border town in Enugu State.

“Those deaths, I know 46 people are confirmed to have died on the side of Enugu State. I have been in contact with the Commissioner for Health in Enugu State, we have discussed the issue and shared ideas. No such illness on Kogi side of the divide. No Death has occurred in our own region.

“However, we have alerted all the health stakeholders. We have communicated with the traditional ruler of Olamabaro Local Government Area,” he said.

READ ALSO: Strange Disease Kills Over 50 In Kogi State

While dismissing that there is no hospital in the community, the health commissioner insisted that there is primary healthcare in the affected Local Government.

“We have a ‘cottage’ hospital and a general hospital in the same local government. You cannot expect every community to have a tertiary institution but at least we have primary healthcare there,” Audu said.

The lawmaker representing Olamaboro Constituency, Honourable Ujah Anthony Alewo while moving a motion of urgent public importance at the floor of the house on Tuesday said 50 residents of Etteh Community in Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi State have died of ‘alien epidemic’ from September till date.

“The reports reaching my constituency office from the community leaders confirmed that over 50 people within the economic and productive age of 25 to 40 years died from September to date.

“Thereby stalling agricultural, social, and economic activities which directly affect the food security of the agrarian and artisan Etteh people,” the lawmaker said on Tuesday.

The lawmaker asked that the State Government should construct a Hospital in Etteh Community adding that it is “more worrisome that all efforts to get solutions using the local herbs and treatment at local health centres with referrals to neighboring clinics and hospitals at Ogugu and Okpo in Olamaboro respectively was not successful.”

He prayed that the house should mandate its Committee on Health and Social Services for an on-the-spot assessment of damage to lives and properties to the people of Etteh Community.

Strange Disease Kills Over 50 In Kogi State

Gunmen Attack Kogi Communities, Kill Policeman And Three Others
A map of Kogi State in Nigeria’s north-central.

 

Over 50 persons have been said to have lost their lives to a strange illness in Olamaboro Local Government area of Kogi State.

It was reliably gathered that the disease which is still unknown comes with symptoms such as headache,  red eye, loss of appetite, inability to urinate or defecate, convulsion, and finally death.

The lawmaker representing Olamaboro Constituency in the Kogi State House of Assembly, Honourable Ujah Anthony Alewo who disclosed this in a motion of urgent public importance presented at the floor of the house on Tuesday said it was sad and quite disturbing that the residents of Etteh Community in Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi State were thrown into confusion by the outbreak of an epidemic alien to them.

READ ALSO: Bread Tax Is Evil, We Are Investigating Those Behind It – Yahaya Bello

Although the lawmaker maintained that the causes of the disease are still unknown, he noted that the infected patient dies within one week of contracting the disease.

According to him, “more worrisome, all efforts to get solutions using the local herbs and treatment at local health centres with referrals to neighboring clinics and hospitals at Ogugu and Okpo in Olamaboro respectively was not successful.

“The reports reaching my constituency office from the community leaders confirmed that over 50 people within the economic and productive age of 25 to 40 years died from September to date.

“Thereby stalling agricultural, social, and economic activities which directly affect the food security of the agrarian and artisan Etteh people.”

He prayed that the house should mandate its Committee on Health and Social Services for an on-the-spot assessment of damage to lives and properties to the people of Etteh Community.

The lawmaker added that the House does write a strongly worded resolution mandating the Honourable Commissioner for Health to direct medical experts to the affected area to unravel the cause of the epidemic and treat accordingly.

Alewo, in his prayers, urged the house to do a passionate appeal to the State Government to send palliatives to the affected areas to cushion the huge loss incurred by Etteh Community.

Seconding the motion, the lawmaker representing Dekina Biraidu Moses Ododo stressed that, the lives of people in the community need to be urgently saved as it will adversely affect the economic input of the agrarian community to the State.

The Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Mohammed, in his submissions hinted that the Community shares boundary with Enugu State, and as such there is a need for urgent action to avert further loss of lives.

He suggested an additional prayer that the State Government should construct a Hospital in Etteh Community to avert and tackle the future occurrence of such an epidemic.

Ruling on the motion, the Speaker, Mathew Kolawole, asked for a minute’s silence for the lives lost due to the attack of this epidemic, adding that, the House should write to Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja for support.

 

#EndSARS Protests Politically Motivated – Kogi Governor

 

The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has described the #EndSARS protests as politically motivated.

In an interview on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, the governor explained that although he supports the agitations of the youths, the fact that they refused to relent after some demands were met, means the protests have political undertones.

“Dear Nigerians, let me tell you, what is happening today, this so-called #EndSARS is politically motivated,” he said.

“Whether anybody says it or not, I am saying it once again and you can quote me anywhere, anyday and I will prove it to you.

“Why will you demand for five items and you and granted and you refuse to take it.. which struggle, agitation or uprising across the world has ever succeeded without leadership?.

“100 per cent, I agree (with the agitations of the protesters) but if you look at what is happening today, you will have no option than to classify it as politically motivated”.

According to him, it is a “ploy to set we the youths of this country against one another”.

Read Also: #EndSARS Aftermath: Gbajabiamila Visits Sites Of Damaged Properties In Surulere, Lagos

The governor also said not everyone wants an end to SARS so the agitations are only fuelled by some politicians and those who are profiting from it.

“Those who continue to shift the goal post when the demands were met, those who continue to profiteer from it.

“Not everybody believes in ending the SARS. And if you say SARS are even wrong in doing one thing or the other, the best way to agitate was to even ask for a total security overall”.

Bullet Hits Journalist In Kogi As Looters Scamper For Safety

Gunmen Attack Kogi Communities, Kill Policeman And Three Others
A map of Kogi State in Nigeria’s north-central.

 

A journalist with the Sun newspaper, Emmanuel Adeyemi has been hit by a stray bullet in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.

He was hit while on his way to the Nigerian Union of journalists, (NUJ) secretariat on Monday morning, as gunshots were fired to disperse a crowd of looters at the warehouse in the Zone 8 area.

A similar incident had occurred Sunday night with residents bombarding the ADP Warehouse, carting away several bags of fertilizer, water pumps, bags of rice seedlings.

According to the government, however, they had intended to distribute the items to the people on Monday, before the crowd overwhelmed them and broke into the warehouse.

Security agencies were seen at some strategic locations ensuring that the situation didn’t go out of hand.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer Mr. William Aya, said that the gunshots were from hoodlums who were scaring people away to enable them have free access to their looting activities themselves.

He said the shootings were not from the Police, adding that the perpetrators were being trailed and would be brought to book shortly.

Meanwhile, the victims have been taken to one of the private hospitals in Lokoja for treatment.

In a phone interview with Channels Television, the State Commissioner for Information, Mr Kinsley Fanwo, described the situation as unfortunate saying that the mercenaries were sneaked into the town by hoodlums who are bent on causing mayhem.

He, however, promised that government is doing everything possible to track them down.

Lokoja Tanker Explosion: Govt Declares Two-Day Mourning

Photos from the scene of the accident

 

The Government of Kogi State has declared a two-day mourning in honour of the victims of a tanker explosion which occurred in Lokoja the state capital, on Wednesday.

This announcement is contained in a statement issued on Thursday by the Kogi Commissioner for Information and Communication, Kingsley Fanwo.

“The Governor and the Government of Kogi State are saddened by the unfortunate incident that claimed many lives in the early hours of today.

“The people are the State. Therefore, the primary responsibility of the Government is to ensure the safety and well-being of the Kogi people.

READ ALSO: At Least 23 Killed In Lokoja Tanker Explosion

“As a result of the importance placed on the lives of our people, the Government has declared a two-day state mourning to honor the departed souls.

“In this time of grief, we urge the people to be deep in sober reflection and stand together for one another to pull out of the agonizing loss,” the statement read in part.

The tanker explosion, which occurred in the Felele area of Lokoja, along the Lokoja/Abuja Highway claimed 23 lives.

The government, therefore, called on road users to act responsibly in order to avert unfortunate situations that care and caution could have averted.

Full investigations will also be carried out to determine the causes of the incident.

Kogi: PDP Expresses Shock, Says Supreme Court Judgement Does Not Inspire Hope

PDP Hails Supreme Court Ruling On Zamfara Election

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that it is shocked over the judgement of the Supreme Court which upheld the victory of Yahaya Bello as the Governor of Kogi State.

The apex court had dismissed the five grounds of appeal filed by the PDP candidate, Musa Wada, including allegations of rigging and over-voting, and that Governor Bello did not secure the highest votes.

In a statement on Monday by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said that the judgment fell short of the expectation of the majority of the people of Kogi State and Nigerians in general.

The party added that the judgement has failed to inspire hope for a violent-free election in the country.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Upholds Election Of Yahaya Bello As Kogi Governor

It called on its supporters and the people of Kogi State to remain calm and focused on achieving a credible electoral process in the country, while also mourning those who lost their lives during and after the election.

“Our party deeply mourns all those who were gruesomely murdered, as well as commiserates with all victims of violence.”

The PDP urged its supporters not to lose hope after pursuing the recovery of their mandate to the very end.

According to it, such commitment is a demonstration of the undying determination of the people to defend their choice of leadership.

“Our party will continue to stand with the people of Kogi State as they weather the insensitive and anti-people government in Kogi State,” the party added.