Hundreds of protesters stormed the Abuja headquarters of the All progressives Congress (APC) on Monday, June 10, reportedly demanding that Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi should be stopped from contesting for a second term in office.
The protesters who grounded activities at the APC headquarters, were armed with placards carrying various anti-Bello inscriptions. Some of the placards had messages asking the presidency to save Kogi while others demanded for full freedom for the state.
The protesters also urged the APC to declare a direct primary election for its aspirants ahead of the main election. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Jubril Yusuf, coordinator of the protesting group, which called itself Concerned APC members, said: “We are here to place before the Nigerian public the plight of the people of Kogi State since February 2016 when Yahaya Bello became the governor of the state. “We have also come here to call on all men and women of conscience to put pressure on the leadership of our great party, the APC, to provide a level-playing ground for all aspirants on the platform for the governorship ticket of the party.” He lamented the living condition in the state as worrisome saying since February 2015, payment of salaries and pensions of civil servants had become optional and not a priority. He alleged that workers and pensioners in the state were currently being owed many months of unpaid salaries and pensions. “It is only when workers are paid that other citizens in the state will be able to sell their goods and services. “Consequently, the economy of the state is reeling on the ground, many businesses have folded and potential investors have been avoiding the state like a plague. Virtually all the indices about the state are negative,” Yusuf said.
According to reports drama however ensued as a group of people allegedly loyal to Governor Bello stormed the APC headquarters warning against accommodating more protesters who are against the governor. The report said these latter team arrived the secretariat with police patrol vans and other unmarked cars.
“We have delivered our message and we won’t make noise about it any longer. “Nobody can stop Governor Bello’s re-election. All those opportunists that voted for Atiku Abubakar during presidential elections are now coming back to decide who will be the governor of Kogi. “Why are they protesting in Abuja instead of coming to the state? These stupid protesters are lucky we did not meet them here,” they were reported to have said.