The Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Kogi state said it has uncovered a plot to abduct its governorship candidate, Alhaji Muritala Yakubu Ajaka and frame him with trump-up charges with the aim of clamping him into detention and possibly liquidate him.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Director of Communication of the Alhaji Muritala Yakubu Ajaka Campaign Organization, Faruk Adejoh-Audu, made available to journalists in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital, Tuesday.
According to the statement, details of the plan, which began manifesting on Tuesday, included hastily arraigning Alhaji Ajaka before a Lokoja Court to legally seal the plot to incarcerate him indefinitely on the orders of the state.
The statement reads in part:
“Some gunmen in Mufti appeared at an address on Khartoum Street in Wuse, Abuja at about 12:30 pm Tuesday claiming they have been detailed to arrest Alhaji Ajaka for attempted assassination, gun possession and terrorism as a result of the same attack carried out against our candidate.
“Already, the governor has put some of his friendly media editors and social media influencers on cue to disparage the SDP Candidate through stories and commentaries that will portray the candidate as a violent man.
“This elaborate plot is an obvious manifestation to stop the escalating popularity of the SDP Candidate in the November 11 Governorship Elections.
“The governor, whose administration has gained notoriety for violence, framing up opponents and compromising the institutions of the polity to gain advantage in elections.
“Alhaji Ajaka has no record of violence whatsoever at any time in his political career, but in the last four months, the candidate and members of his campaign team have been at the receiving end of State violence from Federal security agents who have been obviously compromised to torment political rivals.
“We have cried out to all the relevant agencies of state to rein him in and get him to play by the rules of engagement of electioneering to no avail.
“Where in the world is an interested party in an election allowed the pleasure to arrest opponents and clamp them into detention to prevent them from campaigning?
“This plot was hatched after a campaign outing by Alhaji Ajaka at Idah, during which a mammoth crowd never before recorded in the history of rallies in Kogi State came to receive him.
“In the last Presidential and National Assembly Elections, the governor took several bizarre measures to intimidate the then main opposition Peoples Democratic Party in the state by deploying earth moving equipment to dig craters on several streets leading to polling units in the Central Senatorial District of Kogi State.
“The intimidation was so effective that the PDP had to cancel its campaign flag-off rally in the said Central Senatorial District.
“Two weeks ago, he procured security agents in the state to extra-judicially execute Mallam Kabir Bala, aka Okwo, a thug he freed from prison and unleashed on defenceless citizens of the state at the dawn of the 2019 Elections. Okwo was among about 20 thugs he freed from custody across the state to use for violence and electoral mayhem in 2019.
“The moment Okwo was executed, the police commissioner accused him of several heinous felonies. Yet Okwo was a revered party member inaugurated as the Ofu LGA Coordinator of the Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Council.
“He was also one of the 67 delegates to the APC National Convention. At no time was he ever accused, invited or arrested for any crime since 2019 until he openly renounced violence and announced his support for Alhaji Ajaka before he was hunted down, killed and then accused of various violent crimes.
“In the last four years, many citizens of the state have been murdered in cold blood in the build-up to elections or on Election Day, the most heinous which was the procurement of a police helicopter to shoot at voters from the air on November 16, 2019.
“He has succeeded so far in this campaign of violence with the active connivance of the security forces in the state.
“The brazen effort to frame up a governorship candidate on trumped up charges and use the state’s intimidated judiciary to keep him out of circulation is a new low in his notorious desperate antics of electoral repression.
“Once again, we are calling on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to call this outlaw to order since we cannot press charges against him due to his executive immunity.
“Using the state institutions of compliance to suppress opponents in an election with the force of arms is akin to coup d’etat, and we hereby task the Federal Government of Nigeria under President Tinubu to forestall such unconstitutional desperation even from a governor produced by his party.
“We also invite the world to take note that if anything untoward happens to Ajaka, the Nigerian Police, the Directorate of State Security (DSS) and the Nigerian Navy, who have been eager participants in this unconscionable and unconstitutional act of repression, despite our outcries, should be held to account.”