Arresting innocent APC members makes your roles in Kogi poll suspicious, taskforce slams military

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BY TIMOTHY AGBOR

The military has been warned against illegal arrest of members and supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress ahead of the Kogi State governorship election on Saturday.

The Director General, Kogi State Special Task Force Force on Illegal Smuggling of Firearms and Other Related Crimes, Friday Makama, while addressing a press conference on Friday at the Nigeria Union of Journalists office in Lokoja, accused the military of detaining some APC members at Itobe Bridge in the state and collecting the party’s money with them.

Makama dispelled rumour that he was arrested by the military, saying that the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Muritala Ajaka, was behind fake news flying across the state.

Alleging that the military’s roles in Kogi poll is suspicious, Makama said, “Military is a mirror of any country and by the reason of that, we are under every obligation to respect that institution. The reality is not what people think about the military. A lot of people think because the military are very brutal, that is why people are scared of them. No. But, because military is the mirror of every nation, that is why military stands with respect as always in the mind of every Nigeria. I do not have anything against the military coming to give supportive role to the Nigeria Police Force. But, the current event that is unfolding where the candidate of the Social Democratic Party can declare war against certain persons who are loyal to the candidature of Ododo of APC becomes worrisome and this is exactly what is happening now.

“It has gone to the extent that military is no longer after gun. Military are no longer after arms and armunition that is being smuggled into the state, but you can see a situation where military will stop the supporters of the APC and begin to take money that belongs to the party from them. I was only informed that my council chairman and others including a reputable member of this union, Comrade Ali Atabo, was stopped on Itobe bridge and being held on Itobe bridge for supporting a political party of his choice. This is where the role of the Army becomes now suspicious.”

Debunking his alleged arrest, he said, “I didn’t see myself being arrested. In fact, I was not part of that entourage. We had a stakeholders meeting, Igala Mela Odolu, which one of your members here is incidentally a major stakeholder in our local government by the reason of the fact that he has been the council chairman of Igala Mela Odolu. We had a stakeholders meeting before they took off and the only offence that up till this time, they are being held on that bridge is that the party sent them with money for the purpose of the election. This is why they are there and this is why the role is suspicious. Even as we speak, the candidate of the SDP had since declared that I must be arrested. What is my offence? Perhaps, because I do not support his candidature or I am not a member of the SDP.

“And I think if democracy is anything to go by, I am not very sure if the tenets of democracy allow for a man who does not believe in you to be crucified. And this is where the issues are today in Kogi State and they cry more than we cry. Of course, I am prevailed upon to speak to the press, if not, I may not even do it because the ruling party will not be going into petty and that is why most times, they paint the stories that do not exist and the government of the day ignores it. They ignore it not because what they are telling the public is true, like they told the public now that Friday Makama has been arrested and that riffles have been discovered from the vehicle of Elder Dr. Friday Makama. This is the kind of lies they will always tell. As at yesterday, I want to assure all Kogites that I am not under any arrest.

“For now, I have a responsibility in the state capital here that cannot allow me not to go back home and that is not to say I can still not go back home. I have groomed young boys and girls that can win their wards and units conveniently whether Friday Makama comes home or not,” he added.