Group Calls For Probe Of Alleged Rights Abuses, Killings Under Yahaya Bello In Kogi

Group Calls For Probe Of Alleged Rights Abuses, Killings Under Yahaya Bello In Kogi

 

Mrs Salome Abuh, PDP Woman Leader burnt inside her house

A Kogi-based group, under the aegis of Confluence Patriot, has urged the administration of President Bola Tinubu to order an investigation into the alleged abuse of human rights by the former governor, Yahaya Bello.

The group described the past eight years administration of Bello, as miserable, which witnessed a high number of killings and the absence of perceived political opponents.

The group in a statement, which was made available to DAILY POST in Abuja on Monday by the Secretary to the Executive Committee of the group, Abdulwahab Omeiza, recalled the burning alive of a female chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Salome Abuh, in Kogi East during the election that returned Bello into his second term of office in 2019.

The group said the past governor’s silence over the ugly incident for the rest of his tenure was inhuman as well as other abuses, which if there was no investigation, posterity would leave a negative vacuum.

The statement said: “During the eight-year administration of former Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello, there were several human rights abuses leading to the loss of lives and property of innocent citizens of Kogi State.

“It is necessary to state here that some political opponents of Bello were either killed or declared missing, with their whereabouts still unknown even as this press statement is issued.

“A good example of this is the burning to death of Mrs Salome Abuh, a PDP woman leader and the disappearance of the PDP Party Chairman of Okene, who have been missing since the last four years and most recently, the killing of four persons, including two serving police officers attached to one Alhaji Sheik Jubril, the Social Democratic Party Director General, in the 2023 governorship election.

Late Salome Abuh and her husband before her murder during Yahaya Bello’s tenure as governor

The Confluence Patriots further commended the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for the ongoing prosecution of the former governor, urging the agency not to succumb to political and media blackmail as corruption in Kogi State was glaring to all.

“It is pertinent to note that corruption remains a significant obstacle to Nigeria’s development, hindering economic growth and eroding public trust in institutions.”

In the rundown to the last governorship election in the state that produced Mr Usman Ododo as the governor, the opposition Social Democratic Party ( SDP) accued then Governor Bello wrongly using the help of the commissioner of police in the state, Berthrand Onuoha to attack opposition politicians.

An SDP gubernatorial campaign spokesperson, Faruk Adejoh – Audu in a statement issued on 8th November 2023 said a group of thugs and security agents attacked the residence of the SDP campaign director, Ibrahim Jibrin, in the Anyigba area of the state with an armoured personal carrier vehicle. He said a policeman attached to Mr Jibrin was killed during the attack.

“A rogue force assembled by the Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Mr Bethrand Unuoha on behalf of the outlaw governor of Kogi State, Mr Yahaya Bello killed a serving policeman while attacking the home of the Director-General of the SDP Campaign Council for Kogi State, Sheik Ibrahim Jibrin, with an Armoured Personel Carrier (APC) at Anyigba this morning.

“The rogues’ force made up of thugs led by one Friday Makama officially declared wanted by a federal high court, police led by one Supol Ojo of the Lokoja Mopol office and Navy mercenaries led by N U Akalezi of the Nigerian Navy killed the police guard, officer Atabor at about 6:00 am this morning,” Mr Adejoh – Audu alleged.

He said the alleged attack, by the thugs, policemen and officers of the State Security Service (SSS), lasted for over one hour.

“The APC broke down the gate of Sheikh’s County home to gain access to the compound before releasing the rogue force who opened fire indiscriminately killing Atabor while the other guards ran for cover.

“They took away the corpse of Policeman Atabor and about six other persons among whom are believed to be four policemen on official duty,” the spokesperson added.

Mr Adejoh-Audu further alleged that there was a meeting between Yahaya Bello and top security agents in the state to undermine efforts of the federal government to ensure a free and fair election in the state.

“At a meeting last week Tuesday between Mr Bello, Police Commissioner Unuoha and Mr Ajayi a decision was taken to undermine the Federal Government’s resolve to ensure a free and fair election in Kogi by setting up a rogue force to counter the military force being deployed to forestall violence.

“It is our information that Bethrand Unuoha and some other compromised security chiefs in Kogi will sustain these sporadic attacks on our Campaign leadership and supporters particularly in Kogi East until the day of the election,” the statement added.

Mr Adejoh-Audu called on the Inspector General of Police to transfer the police commissioner out of the state to allow for a free and fair election.

Yahaya Bello, who was not seeking re-election because he would be completing his second and final term in office in January 2024, was strongly supporting the APC candidate, Usman Dodo who has now succeeded him as governor and is being accused of shielding his predecessor from lawful prosecution.

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