30th November, 2023
By Taiwo Okanlawon
Some security operatives have taken over the premises of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lokoja, Kogi State capital, following the alleged plot by suspected arsonists to burn down the office.
It was gathered that men of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Army and other security outfits were spotted with their armoured personnel carriers to stop any invasion of the INEC office.
It was further learnt that the ever-busy post office, where business activities boom on a daily basis, was deserted.
Vehicular movement was also restricted as motorists were forced to divert to other routes, especially those going to Abuja, Nataco, and Felele axis.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Social Democratic Party, SDP, have accused each other of allegedly sponsoring thugs to destroy election materials in the INEC office.
APC and SDP have been at loggerheads ahead of the commencement of the sitting of the tribunal over the November 11 governorship election in the state.
The SDP fired the first salvo in a statement issued on Sunday by its Director General, New Media, MuriSam Campaign Council, Mr Isaiah Ijele.
The party, which came second in the November 11 governorship election won by APC, claimed in the statement that it had uncovered plans to burn down the INEC office in Kogi.
Ijele alleged: “It has come to our notice via grave vines that there is an urgent need for security to be beefed around the Kogi INEC office in order to avert the sinister plot to burn down the office by mandate bandits.”
However, the APC Governorship Campaign Council in Kogi in its response on Sunday evening said SDP should be held responsible if anything untoward happens to the INEC office in Lokoja.
The APC campaign council also called on security agencies to fortify security around INEC offices, given the alarm raised by the SDP.
Mr Kingsley Fanwo, the Director of Media and Publicity/Spokesperson for the APC campaign council in a statement said the party was convinced that the false alarm raised by the SDP over a purported planned attack on the INEC office was to cover up the party’s sinister motive of torching the INEC office and turning around to blame it on the APC.
Fanwo said: “As they know, they have no evidence to substantiate their characteristic lies about the credibility of the Kogi State Governorship Poll that has been adjudged as the best in the democratic history of our dear state.