From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
Kogi State Government has warned that intimidation, ethnic/ religious profiling and other anti-social and unconstitutional acts would be met with stiff resistance.
Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, who stated this, yesterday, at the quarterly press briefing of the ministry in Lokoja, stressed that no amount of blackmail by desperate enemies of the state would stop the government from protecting lives and property and cooperating with law enforcement agencies to rid the state of crime.
He endorsed the recent joint operation carried out by security agencies in the state, in which a notorious gang leader was neutralised, saying that the operation has reduced crime in the area by over 40 per cent.
He said the state government would not submit its authority to criminals and called on security agencies to invite those tagging the operation as extrajudicial killing and inciting violence for thorough investigation.
“They must be held to account for their claims. We can’t come this far taming terrorists for the past 90 months only to lose it to the garrulous crime-sponsors defending a criminal.
“The government would do everything within the curve of law to guarantee a peaceful poll in November, intimidation, ethnic/religious profiling and other anti-social and unconstitutional acts would be met with stiff resistance. It is our responsibility to give confidence to our people that they are free from attacks while exercising their franchise.
“The recent happening at Ejule was a necessary stitch-in-time led by security agents in the state to rid our state of criminality. For the umpteenth time, we reiterate our endorsement of the operation that has brought down insecurity in that area by over 40 per cent. The late Kabir Bala popularly known as Okwo was a terror in the East, kidnapping and raping young women and housewives and terrorising the entire Kogi East. Motorists traversing the state were subjected to ‘Okwo levy’ to the embarrassment of the state, among other acts of extreme intimidation and criminality.
“Kabir Bala opened fire on security operatives with the intent to murder them. According to the report by the security agencies, they engaged his gang at this point and he was neutralised in the process.”
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