The All Progressives Congress (APC) Kogi State chapter has responded to claims that it sponsored thugs to attack a Social Democratic Party (SDP) gathering in the state.
Anaedoonline.ng previously reported that there was uproar in Ejule, a community in the state’s Ofu Local Government Area (LGA), on Wednesday when gunmen allegedly entered the venue of the SDP governorship rally and began shooting at party members.
Though no one was killed, reports indicated that hundreds of people were hurt in intermittent shootings allegedly directed by an APC chairman in the district.
“Some gunmen allegedly attacked and dispersed a Social Democratic Party (SDP) governorship ward rally in Lejule, at the Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State.
“The gunmen, allegedly led by one Mohammed Alfa, said to be the assistant state chairman of the APC Kogi East District, descended on the rally venue at St. Mathew primary school Lejule and started shooting sporadically to disperse a mammoth crowd of SDP supporters that gathered at the event,” TVC News said in a report earlier.
Confirming the attack in a statement issued in Lokoja on Thursday morning, the Director of Communications of the Muri/Sam SDP Gubernatorial Campaign Council, Mr Faruk Adejoh-Audu, said: “Earlier at about 9: 30a.m., about two hours before the rally was scheduled to commence, the thugs descended on the St Matthews primary school venue and destroyed the canopies, public address systems, chairs and the podium arranged for the event.
“But SDP leaders in the locality led by Elder Obolo, Rabi Emaiku and Gambo Haruna encouraged supporters to ignore the intimidation and still show up for the rally.
“The moment supporters began trooping to the rally ground, a group led by a motorcade again unleashed the thugs, this time shooting sporadically.
“Several persons were injured in the course of the mayhem, while the thugs equally destroyed several vehicles they identified as belonging to SDP supporters. This is the second time that an SDP rally will be attacked by identified aides of an opposition party official leading thugs in less than two weeks,” Adejoh-Audu added.
The SDP campaign director claimed that a similar attack occurred on September 29 at an SDP gathering in Koton Karfe, Kogi LGA.
In response to assertions that the APC funded the attack, Kingsley Fanwo, the state spokesperson for the APC Campaign Council, stated the allegations were false because the party had no involvement in the attacks.
“We are not ready to join issues with SDP because doing so is glorifying them more so that we won’t be dragged into their frivolities, gasping lies and lack of direction.
“As a government, our concern and responsibility is to create an enabling environment for all to pursue their normal businesses.
“We are a government, and our priority is to protect all the people of Kogi irrespective of political leanings,’’ Fanwo noted in a statement issued on Thursday morning.
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