By Adejumo Enock
The Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello has said, if politicians stop the use of thugs and criminals during elections, Nigeria will be safer and more secure.
The Governor said this during an interview on Channels TV Breakfast Programme on Wednesday.
According to him, “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 added that he won his Governorship Poll without the use of ‘boys’ or thugs.
Bello said, political thuggery and use of ‘boys’ during elections was the order of the day in Kogi before he came into power but he “refused to play that kind of dangerous politics”.
The Governor stated that “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”. He added
Also, Yahaya Bello said, “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”.
The Governor said Kogi State “run an open-door policy,” widely embraced by the residents.
Speaking on how he won his gubernatorial, 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”. He said.