Police Aided Govt Thugs Attacked Anti-Buhari Protesters, Not Kogi Youths – Austin Okai

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Kogi-born rights activist, Comrade Austin Okai has exonerated youths from the attack on anti-Buhari protesters in Lokoja, Kogi state capital on Monday.

In a statement issued on Monday, Okai said the attack was the handiwork of Governor Yahaya Bello-sponsored thugs and the state commissioner of police, Mr Ede Ayuba.

Okai cautioned the state commissioner of police against being used by the state government as a tool in destabilizing the state and infringing on the rights of citizens of the state.

He accused the state police commissioner of aiding Gov Bello in legalizing thuggery and destroying the social fabric of the state.

He insisted that peaceful protest is a fundamental right of every citizen, and that protest against President Muhammadu Buhari has assumed a global dimension.

“The people of Kogi state feel the impact of maladministration like citizens elsewhere in the country. The state commissioner of police was clearly unprofessional by playing a part in aiding the thugs who attacked citizens who were going about exercising their legitimate and democratic right to peaceful protest. Police in Kogi have developed the habit of aiding thuggery in the state.

“The narrative that the protesters were arrested by youths in the state is nothing but an attempt by the Kogi state government to discredit the popular disapproval of the people of the state for everything APC. I can authoritatively confirm that the protesters were arrested by the police – who handed them over to the thugs, who physically assaulted them and later returned them to the police. The commissioner of police will be held responsible should anything happen to the arrested protesters,” he said.

While calling for the unconditional release of the peaceful protesters, Okai accused Kogi state government of playing the politics of anything goes just to please President Buhari.

Meanwhile, the Kogi State government has contradicted the Nigeria Police over the arrest of protesters campaigning against President Muhammadu Buhari in Lokoja the state capital.

While the State Commissioner of Police, Ayuba Edeh, has confirmed the arrest of two of the protesters caught at the wee hours of the night carrying out smear campaign against President Mohammadu Buhari in Lokoja, the state government said it was the youths of the state who apprehended the protesters and handed them over to the police.

The state commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Kingsley in a statement made available to newsmen in Lokoja said those arrested were brought in from the neighbouring Benue State.

According to the Police commissioner, “At about 2:30am in the early hours of the night, men of the command arrested two young men who were painting buildings and carrying posters with the inscription that “Buhari Must Go”.”


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