Kogi accuses Melaye of planning violent protest

•Govt behind "arrangee" protests ―Dino

Senator Dino Melaye
Senator Dino Melaye

KOGI State government on Friday asked the security operatives to hold the senator representing Kogi west senatorial district, Senator Dino Melaye, responsible and accountable for any breakdown of law and order in the state.

The government said the alarm became necessary following the plan of some supporters of the senator to stage a protest on Saturday (Today), saying the protest might be hijacked and result to political hostilities and security chaos.

The special adviser to the governor on security matters, Commander Jerry Omodara (rtd), while speaking with newsmen in Lokoja, the state capital, however advised Melaye to halt the move and stop his supporters from carrying out the protest to press home their support over the last Easter eve assassination attempt on the senator.

He said, “It has become imperative to address the nagging political hostilities from certain quarters which is fast snowballing into a serious challenge in our state. You are all aware of the allegation raised by Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West Senatorial District that there was an attempt on his life and how the whole incident was almost politicised.

“The state government welcomes the process of investigation by the Nigerian Police which is ongoing to unravel the mystery behind the allegation and ensure the security of all the citizens of the state.

“However, intelligence report at my disposal indicates plans by some supporters of Sen Dino Melaye to stage a protest at Aiyetoro-Gbede in support of the senator on Saturday (today). I am equally aware that some hoodlums and thugs are being recruited within and outside the state to join in the protest. As much as we do not want the rights of the protesters inhibited, the implications of such a protest in the middle of investigations into the Senator’s allegations may be grave as some hoodlums may hijack the process to foment trouble and disturb public peace.”

Omodara said he was aware that some anti -Dino groups were also planning a counter protest on same day, saying the development might lead to chaos.

He added that the state had briefed the commissioner of police and other security agencies on the need to stop any form of protest for or against in Aiyetoro-gbede.

“To this end, we put security agencies and Nigerians on the alert that if there is a protest on Saturday and the peace of the public is disturbed, Senator Dino Melaye should be held responsible and accountable”, he stated.

Omodara however wondered why Melaye was sponsoring a protest when the allegation of assassination was still being investigated by the police.

“He reported the case to law enforcement agencies who are currently investigating the incident. Does the senator no more have faith in the security agencies by urging or supporting some youth to take to the street in gestapo manner and create an image of insecurity?”

But Melaye has dismissed the allegation as he had no intention of planning any protest, saying the evil perpetrated by people in government was hunting them.

The senator, who spoke through his special assistant on media, Gideon Ayodele, said the government should be held responsible for any breakdown of law and other in the state.

According to him, since government was aware of the pro-Dino and anti-Dino protest, they should be asked questions as he was not aware on any protest.

Melaye accused government of planning to stage manage the two protests and put the blame of the “arrangee” violence that might accompany it on him.melaye