Bloody day in Kogi: Two killed at Dino Melaye’s rally as Bello talks tough

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Senator Dino Melaye escaped death on Monday in Lokoja when unknown gunmen attacked him during a rally in the Kogi State capital.
Melaye, who represents Kogi West Senatorial District, was said to be rounding off his speech at the rally in front of Kogi State Polytechnic when the invaders attacked with guns and cutlasses.
Traffic on Lokoja-Abuja highway was disrupted for almost one hour as motorists abandoned their vehicles and scampered for safety.
Traders at Lokoja main market also hurriedly abandoned their wares and escaped into nearby bushes and houses.
A student of the polytechnic simply identified as Saka Seidu and one other person were said to have been shot dead while two operatives of the Directorate of State Service (DSS) attached to Melaye received gunshot injuries in the attack.
The Rector of the polytechnic, Mr Mohammed Yisah, confirmed the death of one of the students.
The senator’s Prado Jeep was riddled with bullets and was towed to the Police headquarters in Lokoja.
The state Police Commissioner, Mr Wilson Inalegwu, who rushed to the scene, told newsmen that Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Criminal Investigation Department had been directed to commence investigation in the case.
Inalegwu, however, said that Melaye did not notify the police of his intention to hold the rally, and called on politicians to give police adequate notice before holding any rally.
Governor Yahaya Bello, who later visited the scene, urged security agencies to investigate the incident with a view to bringing the culprits to justice.
He recalled that a report was made in February to the Presidency, DSS and police, alleging that Melaye and his cohorts planned to cause a breach of the peace in the state.
He, however, assured the people of the state of adequate security of life and property, and advised them to go about their daily activities as the situation had been brought under control.
About an hour later, a statement was issued from the office of the governor.
It reads: “The Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello, sadly condemns the unruly conduct, political violence and needless crisis orchestrated by Senator Dino Melaye in a bid to foil his recall from the National Assembly which led to the brutal murder of Saka Seidu, a student of the Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja.
“The Governor sincerely regrets the unfortunate incident and calls on the people, youth and students of Kogi to remain calm, law-abiding and refrain from taking laws into their hands in the face of imminent threat to their life and security, whilst assuring them of continued safety and maintenance of security in the State.
“He urges the embattled Senator to desist from further plunging the State into needless political crisis capable of threatening the peace and security of the people in the State.
“He is appalled that despite his commitment towards ensuring safety and security for the indigenes and inhabitants of the State and endeavour to rid the State of insecurity and political thuggery, the embattled Senator remains hell-bent on causing mayhem in the State in a bid to save his drowning political career. He hereby reiterates his firm commitment to ensuring continuous security and safety of lives and properties in the State as he vows not to relent in his administration’s lofty strides in securing the life of every inhabitant in the State. 
“The Governor calls on young people to desist from being readily available as cheap tools to malicious politicians’ devilish use and manipulation. He reiterated that their lives are precious and should not be sacrificed on the altar of any selfish politician’s political expediency. 
“He recalled that the State Government had petitioned the Presidency and the Inspector General of Police in January of 2017 on the likelihood of such an outbreak of violence but wonders why no action was taken. He called on the authorities to expedite action on the petition to ensure there is no repeat of today’s unfortunate incident.
“He thus urged the Senator with a notorious antecedent for political violence from further plunging the State of Kogi into needless political violence and security crisis whilst advising him to honour his constituents’ rights to exercise their constitutional obligations”.

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