2023 polls: Plot to frame up, arrest PDP members in Kogi uncovered

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The government of Kogi State is allegedly hatching plans to frame up and arrest opposition party figures across 14 local governments in Kogi East, West and Central senatorial zones ahead of the presidential and national assembly elections on Saturday.

Sources privy to the plan said the state authorities, working in alleged connivance with security agents are planning to keep members of the opposition party in detention for flimsy reasons until after the 2023 elections.

One of the sources who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity said on Sunday that the arrests would be carried out three days to the election in order to decimate the opposition in the said areas and pave the way for the ruling party to emerge.

“I can confirm to you that plans are underway to decimate the resolve of the electorates in Kogi State, particularly in the Eastern and Central Senatorial Districts,” the source who is close to the Gov. Yahaya Bello administration in the state said.

“It is Akin to what happened to a former police officer, ACP Ejeh Abutu, in 2019.

“They are planning to arrest a lot of boys three days to election and free them three days after election.”

It was gathered that the government has concluded plans to use uniformed security agencies to give cover to political thugs recruited to disrupt the electoral process on election day, similar to what transpired in the state in 2019.

“Another aspect of the plot would be to deploy the official security outfits in the country to give cover to some local and imported thugs which are said to be holding up in some houses in these areas,” another source disclosed.

Recall that widespread violence marred the 2019 election in Kogi, with thugs unleashed on opposition strongholds in the state.

Mrs. Salome Abuh, a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was burnt to death in her home by political thugs.

The Centre for Democracy and Development, (CDD), had said that 10 deaths, 79 cases of violence and election malpractices were recorded across the 21 LGAs in Kogi during the 2019 polls.

The incidents, according a statement signed by the group’s director, Idayat Hassan, included the hijack of electoral materials by thugs, the kidnap of INEC ad hoc staff, vote buying, attacks on observers, intimidation of voters, under-aged voting, widespread stuffing of ballot boxes, ballot snatching and multiple voting.

Specifically, violence and disruption of voting represented 66.21 per cent of the total reported incidents; vote trading constituted 28.38 per cent while under-aged and multiple voting constituted 5.41 per cent of total incidents reported, the CDD had said.

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