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Police begin investigation into political clashes, violence in Kogi

Police begin investigation into political clashes, violence in Kogi
October 01
18:31 2023

The Kogi police command says it has commenced an investigation into the alleged attack on the campaign rally of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Koton-Karfe.

Some persons were said to have been injured in the violence on Friday.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed November for the conduct of the governorship election in Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo states.

In a statement on Sunday, Onuoha Bethrand, the commissioner of police in Kogi, said he has directed “a thorough, diligent and wholistic investigation” into all “acts of political violence, accusations and counter-accusations on all the political parties and actors with a view to bringing all offenders to book”.


Bethrand condemned politicians who are “inciting violence and destabilising the state with their careless remarks and unauthorised actions”.

“I hereby sternly warn all the political parties in the state and their supporters to play by the rules and stop heating up the state or face severe sanctions,” the statement reads.

“You should all desist from all forms of violence as anyone caught disrupting the prevailing peaceful environment in the state will be made to face the full wrath of the Law.


“Moreso that the governorship election is fast approaching, we are appealing to all political actors to give peace a chance by conducting themselves in a peaceful manner and shunning all acts capable of truncating the peace, tranquillity and unity of Kogi.

“Therefore, for the last time, I wish to warn would-be trouble-makers to have a change of heart and desist from acts of intolerance as the Police are ever determined to deal decisively with anyone who will not give peace a chance in the state.”

The police commissioner also reaffirmed the command’s commitment to protecting all lives and property in the state before, during and after the governorship election scheduled for November 11.

He blamed some of the crises on the failure of the majority of political actors to accept invitations and participate in a series of stakeholders’ discussions and interactions.


“Again, not all the chairmen and candidates of the other political parties honour Police Invitations to discuss petitions and/or allegations with the Police, and other salient issues germane to peaceful campaigns, and that of the Inter-Agency consultative committee on election security,” he said.

“For the record, several invitations extended to the SDP and ADC Candidates for interaction and consultation with the police to shed light, provide explanations and give their own side of the story on Petitions written against them, but to no avail.

“While these other parties have been carrying the police along in their activities, the SDP candidate has consistently and vehemently refused to honour any of police invitations for investigation or inform me nor the command while embarking on political rallies to enable the police to provide adequate security coverage.

“His (SDP Candidate’s) refusal to deal with the police is undermining peace in the State and has been impeding efforts to streamline and regulate political activities.


“It has in turn, greatly contributed to the pockets of political violence being witnessed in the State presently. His riding roughshod and engaging in political brinkmanship and brigandage is an ill wind that blows no one any good.”


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