By Our Reporter
Director Civil Liberty Organization (CLO), Steve Aluko, has asked President Bola Tinubu to intervene in the forth coming November 11 governorship election in Kogi State governor, and also call governor Yahaya Bello to order ahead of the election.
Speaking with newsmen in Jos the Plateau State capital on the pre election violence that is already erupting in parts of the state and the need to halt it before the election, the Director said the news of attacks on party supporters and campaign offices, especially the Social Democratic Offices (SDP) is not acceptable.
He said as the number one security officer in the state, Bello is responsible for the situation and should ensure that electoral violence is completely stopped, and therefore the need to call him to order is that the violence and killings that happened in the state during the last 2019 election, especially on opposition parties and their candidates including the setting ablaze of the Peopes Democratic Party (PDP) women leader in Ochadamu, should not repeat itself.
The Director said those incidences are still fresh in people’s minds, and so everything possible must be done to halt recurrence of such as there are reports of planned violence on the state during the course of the election.
He called on the President to declare the State of Emergency on security in the state if the violence continues, adding that election is supposed to be free, fair and crisis free, before, during and after the election. He also said all political parties should be given equal rights and freedom to contest and campaign for elective office without fear of intimidation.
According to Aluko, if Tinubu did not interfer in the issue of the state and call the governor to order, it will appear that the President or All Progressive Congress (APC) at the national level has a hand in the violence going on in Kogi State.
Furthermore, the Director stressed that this is the first election being conducted under President Bola Tinubu’s watch, and that it will be an indictment on his part as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces if such political violence or intimidation is allowed to continue, and the earlier he does it the better so that he will not be seen as an accomplice to the crime against humanity in the state.
Also, he called on the security agents to do the needful so that at the end of the day the lives of the people would be secured and voters would not be intimidated before, during and after the election, expressing worry that if violence is already at this level prio to the election, what will happen during the election proper and results announcement and declaration of the winner.
He said Yahaya Bello should also caution himself in terms of utterances and actions and allow himself do the right thing for posterity sake since this is his last term and cannot be the governor again, and history will judge him for whatever happens today. As such, he said, if the state is marred by violence in this election, even the incoming administration will inherit the effect and that will affect the provision of good governance.
In addition, Aluko said, Bello must realize that election in Nigeria has become a global issue that will attract the attention and reaction of the international community, and any offence committed in any state of the nation cannot be isolated. And so, he should be careful that at the end of his tenure, his name will not be dented as somebody who is anti democratic.
He said as someone who has aspired for national position, including the presidency in the 2023 election, and still intend to aspire for national positions in the nearest future, the first way for Bello to prove his qualification for a national assignment and to get the people’s support for such position is to ensure a free, fair and violence free election in Kogi State now and to also ensure the security of every citizen in the state.
He called on all stakeholders in the election to also do all the could to support the state by ensuring the election is successful.