Kogi: SDP, gov candidate blackmailing security agencies, must be called to order, Lawyers, Activists tell President, security chiefs

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Press conference

Scores of Lawyers and Activists, on Wednesday, called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and relevant authorities to caution desperate politicians blackmailing Nigeria’s security agencies for selfish, sinister motives, saying that the Social Democratic Party and its governorship candidate in Kogi State should be particularly called to order.

The Activists, under the aegis of Lawyers and Activists for Good Governance, who have been in the struggle against bad governance for over 16 years, called on security chiefs in the country to caution and deal appropriately with politicians that have continued to drag security agencies into the dirty arena of politics through unwarranted and incessant blackmail with which they hope to compromise them.

The good governance Activists, numbering about 500 across Nigeria, and represented by stakeholders from the geopolitical zones at a press conference in Abuja, said this must be done as a matter of priority to ensure violence and crisis-free elections, especially in Kogi State.

They specifically accused the Social Democratic Party and its candidate, Muritala Yakubu of deliberately blackmailing the Police and the Department of State Services, DSS, to prevent them from carrying out their constitutional assignments of ensuring security of lives and property and preventing criminal activities from festering.

According to them, they had raised the same alarm in July, this year, when the trend first reared its ugly head.

Co-Convener, Lawyers and Activists for Good Governance, Comrade Mohammed Sanni, who addressed the press, referred to a recent press release by the SDP, in which the party passed a vote of no confidence in the security agencies in the state, while alleging that they were planning to arrest some of their members.

According to him, the SDP Candidate is the only candidate that has had a running battle with every Police Commissioner posted to the Kogi State and should be thoroughly investigated.

He said, “We consider as unfortunate and irresponsible the Press Release authored by the Social Democratic Party a few days ago, which amounted to blackmailing the Police and the Department of State Services, DSS, for carrying out their constitutional assignments of providing security for politicians and the electorate alike.

“In the said Press Release, the SDP claimed to have passed a vote of no confidence in the leadership of the Police and DSS in the state and called for their removal. The Party alleged that the security agencies were planning to arrest some of their people. If those people have committed crimes worth investigating, why would they not be invited or arrested as the case warrants?”

The Activists added, “You will recall that the state’s Police Commissioner recently issued a statement saying that all invitations extended to Mr Muritala Ajaka, the governorship candidate of the SDP, either for peace meetings with other candidates or to respond to several allegations of violent conduct against him and his supporters were not honored by the candidate.

“It is given that, except you have constitutional immunity,  ignoring Police invitation is criminal in nature. Nobody is above the law and,  certainly, Mr Ajaka has no constitutional immunity and cannot be treating our security agencies with disdain while still trying to blackmail them from performing their lawful duties.

“We have nothing against him and his Party. But the idea of acting as if above the law is not only unacceptable but totally condemnable. There are 18 political Parties participating in the Kogi election and no one candidate should be allowed to hold the state to ransom for his own selfish political ambition.

“Out of these 18 candidates, it appears to us that it is only Mr Ajaka who has been having troubles with security agents across board. You have refused to honour Police invitations but now turn around to accuse the Police and DSS of partiality. If they were to be partial, once you have ignored their invitations, they would have just declared you wanted and get you arrested.

“For whatever reasons, they haven’t done that but you have decided to embark on campaign of blackmail against them. This is dangerous because it can incite the citizens against security agencies and lead to avoidable anarchy that will ultimately jeopardize the election in its entirety which seems to be the dark goal of these desperate politicians.

“We reiterate our support for the Police and DSS for the good works of securing Kogi State and we urge them to remain unperturbed and focused on ensuring that we have a peaceful election on November 11 by checkmating whoever poses a threat to the upcoming election.”

“We urge them never to succumb to cheap blackmail but to continue doing their jobs professionally and patriotically,” they concluded.

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