The Kogi State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to take major steps in averting what the commission disclosed is the high level of political violence raging in the state by ensuring a free, fair and credible governorship election in November.
The PDP gave the charge on Tuesday following the acceptance in a statement by INEC that it is worried by heavy political violence in the state ahead of the November governorship election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday admitted that the November 16, 2019 governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa would be challenging due to the history of political violence in the two states.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Voter Education and Information, Festus Okoye, stated this during a live programme in Abuja, but said the electoral umpire would move its personnel into the states early enough to meet with critical stakeholders towards achieving free, fair and credible polls.
In a statement signed by Hon. Bode Ogunmola, the PDP publicity secretary, says it is not difficult for INEC to track the perpetrators of political violence in the state, lamented that on Monday, protesting APC members at the National Secretariat were heavily beaten by sponsored thugs from the state.
The PDP statement also added that on Tuesday, workers across some local government areas of the state who were protesting and asking for their full salaries, after been owed for several months were attacked and beaten by sponsored political thugs.
The PDP added that the alleged government sponsored thugs have made the destruction of billboards of the PDP and APC governorship aspirant a daily occurrence, told INEC that it is no longer news in the state on who is behind the violence as every discerning mind and residents of Kogi state know those behind the political violence in the state.
The PDP says it is happy that even INEC is confirming the party’s outcry before, during and after the last general election about state sponsored violence, said what was witnessed in the state in February and March elections was not democracy but ” guntocracy” as guns and intimidation were freely used.
The PDP thanked INEC for coming out to accept that the state is sitting on a keg of gun powder waiting to explode, warned that the PDP having been beaten once would guide its loins before and during the forthcoming Kogi governorship election.
The PDP in the statement called on the Inspector General of Police to please heed the call of the party for disarmament, pointing out that even the APC elders as stated in a press statement signed by Dr Alex Kadiri Kadiri, didn’t mince words, that every sixteen year old child in some section of Kogi state have an AK 47, urged for an urgent intervention.
The PDP commended INEC for saying the truth, insisting that now that the Commission has owned up to violence in the state, what is the way forward pointing out that it is not enough to only admit the truth but should take steps to tell the world what it intends to do differently, becomes critical in the Kogi circumstances.
The PDP urged that INEC should equally not forget that hooliganism is not a preserve of one person, concluding that every Kogi citizen is wiser now by the day following the pain that is been inflicted on citizens by sponsored political thugs.