By Dapo Akinrefon
The Concerned Road Travellers of Nigeria, on Friday, tasked security agencies to urgently clampdown on politicians instigating violence and supporting criminal elements.
The association lamented that some critical Nigerian roads had become kidnapping conundrums, specifically from the South to the North.
Stressing the strategic nature of Lokoja-Abuja road, which is the main link between the North and South parts of the country, it said the road which had been dreaded pre-2016, had become relatively safe under the current administration of Governor Yahaya Bello.
The road users urged the security agencies to invite a Senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Kogi State, for allegedly instigating violence with unfounded inflammatory statements in Kogi State.
Addressing a press conference at the Airport Hotel, Ikeja in Lagos State, the convener of the group of Nigerian Travellers, Mr Toyin Raheem, said the PDP candidate’s alleged defence of a suspected terrorist and her attempt to rubbish a raid carried out by a security agency was not only suspicious but reprehensible.
Raheem, a Labour Party Assembly candidate in Lagos State in the 2023 general elections, described the allegations levelled by the PDP candidate, as condemnable and a threat to the current peace being enjoyed in the state and country at large.
“If Kogi State is allowed to degenerate again into an insecure haven where violence and bloodshed are allowed to reign, that space won’t be safe for millions of Nigerians who pass through there on a daily basis.
“I cannot imagine myself promoting violence against a people I plan to represent or be seen to be a sympathizer of violent criminals or terrorists. Like I have been emphasizing, Kogi State is strategically located between the South and the North and anything that affects its security, affects most Nigerians. Therefore, it is unfathomable that any politician for whatever reason(s) would be seen to be directly instigating violence with unfounded inflammatory statements that could be termed hate campaign on national TV, in relation to terror suspects in Kogi State or anywhere for that matter.
“It is in this respect that we strongly condemn the recent attempt to rubbish the job of our security agencies by a Kogi State politician, who is also seeking election to the National Assembly. We have colleagues everywhere in Nigeria and we know what is going on in Kogi State in the politics scene.
“How would you expect to make people believe that a terror suspect that was reportedly nabbed by the DSS was picked by the government of the day because he crossed from one political party to the other? A review of the candidate’s interviews on Arise TV and Channels TV should, ordinarily, compel security agencies in Nigeria to invite her for questioning with the aim of ridding the larger society of hate campaign that can lead to bloodshed, among the ethnic groups in Nigeria.
“One wonders what the candidate’s real interests and intentions are for coming out so strongly in support of someone who has been alleged to be a serious security risk to the society. If Kogi state is allowed to degenerate again into an insecure haven where violence and bloodshed are allowed to reign, that space won’t be safe for millions of Nigerians who pass through there on a daily basis.
“We, therefore, call on relevant security agencies, specifically the Department of State Services, DSS, to immediately invite the PDP candidate for a comprehensive investigation to determine her real involvement with the detained terror suspect with the aim of halting any potential breakdown of law and order in that state. Politicians seeking elective posts must conduct themselves with decorum and whip supporters into line once they err.
“We cannot because of politics or desperation for public office become so careless as to become a security risk to our constituents and the nation at large.”