Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
A group, the Advocate for Peoples Rights and Justice, has accused Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, of using a special squad of military men to harass and intimidate opposition members in the state.
It said the governor had been using the squad named “State Boat Security” to perpetrate nefarious activities in the state.
The National Coordinator of APRJ, Victor Giwa, made the allegation in a petition addressed to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai.
In the petition dated January 29, the group alleged that the governor had set up and deployed various military personnel under different squads to be used for intimidation, threatening, maiming and kidnapping of his political opponents in the state.
“Particularly, the governor is using a special outfit named ‘State Boat Security’ obuquitously in the guise of providing security for riverine areas of the state to intimidate, threaten and kidnap known supporters of other political parties in the state,” the petition read.
The group cited the case of a member of the Social Democratic Party, one Friday Oboro, whom it claimed was whisked away by men believed to be naval officers.
The group claimed that the kidnapping was politically motivated and targeted at implicating a senatorial candidate of the SDP, Ms Natacha Akpoti.
It added, “This action is more worrisome and disturbing because it involves known military officers who are used by the Kogi State Governor for purely political ends.
“This action of the governor has heightened tension in various communities and it is capable of igniting unprecedented crises if not checked.