…Ask DSS, others to invite, grill authors of unsubstantiated social media allegations
…Say protest by ‘Abuja Street urchins’ planned to blackmail Military, others
Kogi State indigenes from the three main ethnic groups have called on the Department of State Services, the Police and other security agencies to, as a matter or urgency, invite those publicly instigating violence in the state through hate campaign and unfounded allegations, for questioning.
Those who represented thousands of concerned indigenes at a press conference held in Abuja, after an emergency meeting, called on all genuine Kogites, both at home and abroad, to rise up against “merchants of disharmony” in the state.
They insisted that those using their social media handles to spread falsehood and launch hate campaigns must be thoroughly investigated to fish out those instigating violence in Kogi State, demanding that those found culpable must be arrested and prosecuted.
Vice President, Kogi Youth Leaders’ Forum, Richard Leke; Organising Secretary, Ishaq Musa; Abdullahi Ugbede, member; and former PDP Kogi West Senatorial District Candidate, Adeyemi Olabode John, among others, jointly addressed the press on behalf of others.
They said the sponsored protest to the Defence Headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday had the sole purpose of blackmailing the military and other security agencies from performing their legitimate constitutional duties in Kogi State, adding that this must be resisted in the interest of peace in the state.
They alleged that the protest was sponsored by those behind violent attacks in Kogi State who do not mean well for the state, noting that, looking at the composition of the purported protesters, it was glaring that they were mainly street urchins picked from Abuja suburbs.
“Why would anyone wish to discourage security agents from doing their work if such a person does not harbour criminal intentions. It is either that or these people are not bona-fide Kogi State indigenes. They cannot be.
“Their protest today which comprised of non-Kogi indigenes except, perhaps, one or two of them, is a confirmation that they’re not Kogites. One or two sponsored agents of violence from Kogi just picked some street urchins on the streets of Abuja suburbs to do the so-called protest,” they said.
Expatiating on cases of hate campaign and unfounded allegations that must be checked, the Kogi indigenes gave an example of a post by one Faruk Adejoh-Audu.
Ugbede said, “Some of them have turned their social media handles to a platform for hate speeches and campaign of calumny that can instigate the people into a mob action that may prove extremely difficult to manage and lead to needless loss of lives and properties.
“A recent example was when one Faruk Adejoh-Audu made a social media post (kindly find attached) capable of compromising peace in the state and lead to bloody violence.
“As you can see, what Mr. Audu insinuated in that post can cause intractable violence in the state because it is meant to cause mass disaffection and violent clashes. It is our belief that Mr Audu has a hidden agenda for making this type of outrageous claim and must be made to explain to security agencies, especially the Department of State Services to which this petition is directed, why he is interested in causing mayhem in Kogi State. He must say all that he knows about plans to foment mayhem in Kogi State.”
The Kogi indigenes, in their petition titled, “An Open Petition To Quickly Arrest Instigators of Violence In Kogi State”, stated, “Any genuine Kogi indigene will never encourage violence and criminality by asking security agents to desist from decimating criminal activities in the state.
“All genuine Kogi State indigenes both home and abroad must rise up to condemn these merchants of disharmony pretending to be what they are not.
“We are so much concerned that because governorship election is just five months away, some political miscreants being sponsored by instigators of violence in the state are beginning to set the stage for violence before, during and after the election and blame it on others. This type of destructive politics cannot be allowed to play out in Kogi State.
“We’ve enjoyed near-perfect peace and harmony in the last eight years and we do not want any group of politicians and non-politicians who know that they cannot win election in an atmosphere of peace and stability to return Kogi State to its former state of anomie.
“We call on the Department of State Services to up its game in Kogi State by ensuring that all purveyors of chaos are firmly dealt with. We demand that anyone seen to be instigating violence in whatever shape or form in Kogi State, no matter how highly placed, be promptly arrested and prosecuted.
“Those who hide on social media to make wild and unsubstantiated allegations should not be left out. Our organization does not believe in the ugly statement that politics is ‘a do-or-die’ affair.”