Governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello has said the country will be safer when politicians stop the use of thugs and criminals during elections.
Bello stated this during an interview on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily programme on Wednesday, December 23, 2020.
“When politicians begin to stop the use of thugs, touts, or some group of criminal that is when we will begin to have safety and security,” he said.
The governor who said that he won the 2019 Kogi Governorship Poll without the use of ‘boys’ or thugs, noted that political thuggery during elections was the order of the day in the state before he came into power but he “refused to play that kind of dangerous politics.”
“When I came on board, I inherited a state that was largely divided along several lines. For you to aspire to be anything politically in Kogi State then, you must have what we call ‘boys’ or thugs or touts and then use it to intimidate people during political dispensations.
“Once the political exercise is over, the so-called boys or thugs or foot soldiers would be abandoned and left to themselves and by that, they breed into something else or a hydra-headed monster that you will not be able to curb at the end of the day. There are several histories, records, and intelligence to that effect across the country.
“But I refused to play that kind of dangerous or unnecessary politics when I came on board. My ascension to the office is known to everybody across the world. I chose my path immediately and decided to deal with criminals irrespective of political affiliations by simply utilising the laws passed by the Kogi State House of Assembly and the existing security architecture,” he said.
Speaking further on how he was re-elected governor on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019, Bello said evidence abound to show that he won the election freely.
Bello said; “I won my election free and square. The police, the DSS, the military, and all law enforcement agencies have their facts. Don’t listen to the lies they peddle out there. When I see those things, I simply laugh and say how I wished they come to Kogi State to see for themselves.
“There was no time in my campaign that any of my supporters or followers goes into the destruction of billboards, signposts, or installations of the state government, before, during, and after the election. I can say this boldly.”