The Leke/Omede Campaign Organisation, on behalf of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) Governorship Candidate, Honourable Leke Joseph Abejide, wishes to express its strong objection to the directive by Governor Yahaya Bello to reserve all hotel rooms in the 21 Local Government Areas of Kogi State from 4th November to 12th November 2023.
This directive is reckless, unwarranted, and has grave security implications. It is also a gross abuse of power by the Governor, who is using his office to intimidate and harass the private sector.
We have reliable information that the Governor intends to use these hotel rooms to accommodate foreign militias, who will be used to create chaos at his command before and during the elections. Despite the legal restrictions on movement during elections, Governor Bello has devised this imprudent scheme to house these militias in close proximity to the election sites, enabling them to evade the movement restrictions and wreak havoc in the vicinity of the polling locations . We are also aware that the Governor’s directive is aimed at disrupting the electoral process, as it will prevent INEC, election officials, security personnel, and local and international election observers from accessing hotel accommodation during this crucial period.
We are deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of our supporters and the general public. We urge the security agencies to take immediate action to protect the people of Kogi State from this threat.
In Nigeria’s history, there has never been a precedent where a State reserved every private hotel in 21 local governments for a continuous period of nine days. Remarkably, Governor Yahaya Bello, whose state faces financial challenges and has paid meagre 20% salaries for nearly eight years, plans to cover the expenses for all these hotels.
We urge the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the State Security Service to investigate this matter and take necessary action to protect the people of Kogi State.
Our Candidate has also called on the National Security Adviser, with the following requests:
- To nullify the Governor’s directive due to security concerns and the potential disruption it poses to the whole electoral process.
- To urgently deploy the Army to establish checkpoints at the borders of Kogi State to prevent the importation of foreign militias.
- To station Security Personnel at the local governments to counter attempts at sabotaging elections and harming citizens, and
- To curtail the use of homegrown thugs during elections.
We must also caution our hardworking private Hotel owners across Kogi State to refrain from cooperating with the obnoxious demands of the State Governor, as doing so could make them accomplices to the crime of harbouring terrorists.
We call on all Kogites to remain vigilant and to resist any attempt by Governor Bello to subvert the will of the people in the upcoming elections.
Hon. Shola Adebola Samuel
Spokesperson, Leke/Omede Campaign Organisation