How I Was Attacked By Thugs In Kogi Govt House – Senator Echocho
The senator representing Kogi East in the National Assembly, Isah Echocho has narrated how thugs attacked him inside the Government House, Lokoja, Kogi State after a meeting he had, along with other lawmakers from the State, with Governor Yahaya Bello.
The lawmaker told newsmen that himself, Senator Sunday Karimi (Kogi West) and other All Progressives Congress (APC) federal lawmakers from the state had gone to pay homage to the governor yesterday, January 9, after the festive season.
He said that the thugs singled him out of other legislators and pounced on him, accusing him of being responsible for APC’s poor performance in the last governorship election in Kogi East senatorial district.
The Senator said: “I was attacked by thugs in Government House Lokoja but the police rescued me.
“What happened was that all APC senators and the House of Representatives members from the state visited the governor on a courtesy call for the New Year.
“Being one of them, I was not left out. We went up and we had some brief meeting with the governor, though he expressed dissatisfaction over APC performance in Kogi East (my senatorial district) in the last governorship election.
“I told the governor that I tried all I could to convince my people to vote for the APC. I campaigned vigorously for APC in Kogi East but the people were resolute in voting for another candidate despite my efforts.
“It is not as if APC performed woefully in the election in Kogi East. There were pockets of LGs and wards that we won. There was no other thing I could have done beyond what I did. “We exchanged pleasantries with the governor, took a group photograph and left.
“As we were coming out, in front of the Governor’s Office, the thugs pounced on me, that I was responsible for APC’s failure in Kogi East.
“To my surprise, they brought out knives and other weapons to attack me but police officers around were able to rescue me inside my vehicle and we zoomed off. I thank God I didn’t suffer any injury. The police were able to provide sufficient security.”
When asked if the governor was aware of the attack, he said: “The governor cannot descend so low and send thugs to attack me.
“The governor spoke with me after the attack, and he assured me that the thugs would be arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law, but I told him not to worry since I’m safe.”
Meanwhile, six persons have been arrested in connection to the attack, even as the governor banned unauthorised persons from accessing the Government House, calling for the immediate prosecution of the culprits.
A statement today, January 10, by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Mohammed confirmed that the lawmakers had visited the Governor to congratulate him on the peaceful and credible conduct of the November 11 governorship election and to pledge their loyalty to him and the incoming administration.
“Shortly after the fruitful discussion, the governor received with rude shock the news of the harassment of some of the lawmakers on their way out of the Government House and swiftly ordered the arrest of the culprits.”
The statement said that the governor had charged security agencies to investigate the issue thoroughly and ensure that the offenders face the full wrath of the law.
Governor Yahaya Bello was quoted as saying: “Information just got to me as I left the office to the residence that one man called Suleiman and others embarrassed Senator Jubrin Echocho in the Government House. I’ve directed CSO to arrest all those involved in such a stupid act and bring them to justice immediately. I will never condone acts of hooliganism and indiscipline.”
It will be recalled that APC’s Usman Ododo finally won the November 11, 2023 Governship election with 446, 237 votes, though his main challenger, Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), won the majority of his 259,052 votes in Kogi East Senatorial District.
Both Ajaka and Echocho are from the Kogi East Senatorial District.