Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Saturday’s poll in Kogi State, Alhaji Usman Ododo, on Wednesday called on security agencies to release supporters of the party recently arrested in Kogi East.
Mr Ododo, who made the call, told journalists in Lokoja, that the APC chieftains arrested were noble people with no questionable character, and had no reason to engage in thuggery or other vices.
He said that the raid on their residences by security operatives and the attendant destruction of property were concern for the party.
“This morning again, about seven of my members were picked from my community. I don’t breed thugs because I don’t condone criminality. The security agencies should carry out their investigations and release our people with immediate effect. From all pointers on ground and with all the laudable achievements of the current administration, which the people of Kogi State had attested to, victory was sure for the APC.
“Those who already knew they would lose were the ones stoking violence and levelling baseless allegations.
“It’s on this premise that we are calling on the security agencies to be fair to all and ensure the security of lives and property before, during and after the governorship election,” he said.
The governorship candidate lauded the security agencies for the good work they had been doing in the state, promising that he would always be available to honour their invitations as he had always done if they needed clarifications about the activities of the party or any of the campaign chieftains.
According to him, he knows what it takes to manage human beings.
He added, “The people of Kogi State are looking up to the security agencies to ensure a peaceful election. My members have been arrested, some of my leaders, even in my community, this morning, they have picked not less than seven of my members. I allowed them to do their work. I will not interfere with their investigation.
“I believe that by the time they are done with their investigation and none of them is found guilty, they will be released. I have been invited many times by security agencies.
“I have been honouring their invitation, not once, not twice, and I’m ready to honour their invitation at any point in time. I don’t breed thugs. I have advised my followers not to engage in any criminality because I don’t condone it.
“My members that they have picked, I still base it on allegations. Let them do their investigations and I believe they will do that without bias. As soon as they are done, they will be released.
“But in a situation where security agents are harassing and detaining my members without saying what offence they have committed, I want to call on them to release them and face those criminals that went to Koton Karfe to kill an APC supporter and get them arrested.
“That is what they should focus on and not the law abiding members of our party. So I call on them to hasten their investigations and release our members with immediate effect,” he stated.
On allegations of witch-hunt by the opposition, Ododo said, “If you see somebody jumping from one TV station to the other desperately every day, leaving where he is supposed to be doing groundwork and courting voters, you should know that if nothing is chasing him, then he is chasing some shadows.’’
He said that the opposition knew they didn’t have a chance but were just engaging in fruitless propaganda.
“As for us in the APC, we know we are winning. Governor Yahaya Bello has done the people proud and it is time to reward the party. The reward of hard work is more work and we are ready to serve again.
“We won’t join issues with losers who have only ethnic agenda and violence in their dictionary. The APC government has served all the zones equitably and there are ample results to show for it. We are coming to serve them even better,” he stated.
He urged his supporters to come out en masse on Saturday to vote for the APC, saying a vote for APC is a vote for unity, peace and progress of the state.