Kogi Police Command Carpets Sen Melaye for Kogi Poly Violence, Deaths
By Yabagi Mohammed
The Kogi State Police Command in Lokoja has blamed the senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye, for the violence that erupted during his hurriedly organised protest against his recall protest by electorate in the District, held at the front of Kogi State Polytechnic which resulted in the death of five persons.
The Command in a press statement signed by the Public Relations Officer, William Ovye Aya, blamed the Senator for not putting the charged political atmosphere in the State into consideration, especially the important Democratic exercise being embarked upon by the people of his constituency, Kogi West.
The command said it ordinarily would have expected a request to have been made to enable adequate arrangements be put in place for the protest in order to Checkmate hijacking by hoodlums, as has resulted.
According to the command, it learnt that Senator Dino was seen on arrival at the Polytechnic Main Gate standnng on the rooftop of his vehicle using disparaging words against the Governor and other members of his cabinet.
The police said Dino used insultive language on the person of the Governor by specifically calling him ‘Corrupt Governor’ and a ‘thief’ and added that the failure of the Governor to pay civil servants’ salary for many months had led to the death and Hospitalization of some of the workers, a statement that incited some of those present at the protest.
At this point, the police maintained, another set of crowd emerged from International Market Area adjacent to the Polytechnic, chanting in support of the Governor.
It was at this point that sporadic shootings by unknown gunmen ensured, resulting in pandemonium and in the process, one Saka Lawal a fresh graduate of the institution who was passing by, was hit in the groin by a stray bullet and was rushed to the Federal Medical Center, Lokoja, for medical treatment where he was pronounced dead.
Aya added that Police Personnel deployed to the troubled area have acted swiftly and have helped bring the situation under control, even as additional Police Personnel were deployed to the scene as reinforcement to prevent any form of overwhelming.
"The incident is being investigated and those found to be involved, will be brought to book," added the police statement.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Wilson Inalegwu, has enjoined all law abiding citizens of Kogi State to go about their lawful duty and warns that the Command would not hesitate to apply the full wrath of law against persons who take the law in their hands.
He urged members of the public wishing to carry out public demonstration to notify the Command for necessary action in order to prevent avoidable breach of public peace and security.