Police confirm attack on INEC REC’s residence in Kogi
Police authorities in Kogi State, have confirmed the attack on the residence of INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in the state, Dr Gabriel Longpet.
The state Commissioner of Police, Bethrand Onuoha, who confirmed the attack to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lokoja on Friday, described the incident as very unfortunate and wicked.
Mr Onuoha, explained that the attackers came to the residence around 3.00a.m. of Friday but met stiff resistance from security operatives.
“The joy of it all is that the hoodlums did not succeed in their nefarious act as my officers gallantly repelled their attack and burnt the vehicle they came with.
“Right now there are soldiers stationed in the house alongside our personnel to keep watch and ensure safety.
“Again all the junctions around the house and INEC office have heavily armed soldiers and policemen keeping watch to forestall any eventuality.
“We want to assure the public that there’s no cause for alarm as we, the security operatives, are on top of situation in Kogi, ” he said.
While responding to the attack, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Social Democratic Party, SDP, in the state condemned it but traded blames.
While the SDP called for immediate investigation into the incident to bring the perpetrators to book , APC blamed it on SDP with a call for the immediate arrest of the SDP governorship candidate, Alhaji Muritala Ajaka over the attack.
The Director of Media and Publicity/Spokesperson for the APC Campaign Council, Kingsley Fanwo, in an emergency news conference on Friday, said that aside from the INECcommissioner’s residence, there were attempted attacks on the Government House and the party’s secretariat.
Fanwo accused the SDP of trying desperately to cover their offences in Kogi East in the just concluded Nov. 11 governorship election in the state, and to corrupt INEC documents that could be used at the election petition tribunal.
He called on the police, Department of State Services and other security agencies to immediately arrest what he described as slide to anarchy in the state, by arresting Ajaka, and his supporters, who allegedly masterminded the attack on the residence of the REC.
“The attack was perpetrated days after we alerted the nation of plans by the SDP thugs to attack INEC.
“They have finally done their worst by attacking the residence of the Kogi INEC commissioner, engaging security agents in a fierce gun battle and eventually burning down some vehicles in the residence and in the area,” he said.
But the SDP through its Director of New Media, Muri/Sam Campaign Council, Mr Isaiah Ijele, in a statement said: “We strongly condemn the assassination attempt on the INEC REC.
Ijele blamed the attack on thugs loyal to the state government.
“We are grateful for the timely intervention of the Army, as the man and his family could have been wiped out overnight.
“The attackers also burnt his vehicles and took other valuables. This kind of behavior is not acceptable in a democratic society.
“Those individuals who have been involved in these attacks on INEC REC must be held accountable for their actions.
“We call for all those who have been involved in the protests, inciting violence and making provocative statements, to be apprehended and brought to justice,” he said.