Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, yesterday received the report of the judicial commission of inquiry into civil disturbances in Dekina, Omala and Bassa local government areas, with a vowed that the state government will bring perpetrators to book. Receiving the report from the chairman of the commission, Justice Josiah Majebi, the governor promised to ensure security of lives and properties of the residents of the state, saying his administration would not play politics with the lives of the people. The governor stated vehemently that he is ready to hunt the people causing mayhem in the state and bring them to justice. He said, “We will hunt you down, we will come after you, you may be able to run but you cannot hide, we will smoke you out. We won’t play politics with the lives of the people”. Earlier, chairman of the Commission, Justice Josiah Mejabi, said it identified 115 persons believed to be responsible for the bloody clashes that recently engulfed Dekina, Omala and Bassa local government areas of Kogi State.
Although he did not disclose the identities of the persons, Majebi told the governor that the bloody clashes which left several people dead in Orokwo and Orokwo Bassa communities in Bassa Local Government communities in May this year involved Igala and Bassa tribes. He also said that the violent crises that occurred in Ogane-Nigwu, Iyade, Ojuwo Ajimadi, Agbenema-Ife and Agabifor in Dekina and Omala local government areas were caused by herdsmen and farmers. Mejabi said that the commission was able to establish those during its visits and public hearings into the crises. He urged government to prevail on the warring factions to maintain the status quo pending the time it would issue a white paper on the report. The commission also advised government to assist victims of the violent clashes in all the affected communities to enable them to start life afresh.
On his part, the State Security Adviser, Navy Commander Jerry Omodara (rtd), however called for the establishment of a naval outpost in Nkende to further ensure security in the area. He advised that the recommendations of the commission be adequately implemented to bring lasting peace in the affected communities. Omodara lamented that despite the setting up of the commission Bassa local government area continued to witness violence, while the other two local government areas have been peaceful. He further stated that the crisis in Bassa should be taken seriously because of the involvement of two traditional rulers, the Agume of Bassa and the Ahiopa of Mozum. He also called for the prosecution of those arrested in connection with the crisis in 2016, adding that there was the need for an urgent meeting between Kogi and Nasarawa states to profer solutions.
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