Murtala Yakubu Ajaka

Alhaji Murtala Yakubu Ajaka, the Social Democratic Party's (SDP) nominee for governor of Kogi in November, has claimed that one of the thugs who attacked him in a botched ambush last Wednesday night was a police officer in the line of duty.

According to a statement by his spokesman, Faruk Adejoh-Audu, Ajaka made this statement on Saturday while speaking to SDP stakeholders in Abuja.

The SDP candidate for governor reaffirmed his belief in the Independent National Electoral Commission's (INEC) capacity to hold a free and fair election on November 11.

But he said his campaign was concerned with the desperation of Kogi governor Yahaya Bello in “abusing the authority of his sacred office to foist anarchy on the state through the arming of thugs and procuring security agents to create an atmosphere of fear and terror before the elections.”

Ajaka expressed regret over the state governor's decision to violate his oath of office and compromise the state's official security personnel by turning them into political thugs instead of protecting the lives and property of citizens.

The SDP candidate claimed he was still in disbelief that a thug who his security personnel had pursued into the bush and arrested last Wednesday night after a botched ambush was actually an active Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP).

Ajaka remembered the Wednesday night he encountered the blockade of the thugs with dread. The thugs fired sporadically at his convoy but were driven off by his valiant security detail, who chased them into the bush even as their leader, one Friday Makama, a wanted fugitive by the Federal High Court, managed to flee.

“I was shocked when the one caught in the bush started begging and crying out that he’s a police officer detailed to follow the thugs by his superior.

“We know the outgoing governor is desperate and will compromise all those who are willing to be corrupted but the INEC measures against fraud and manipulation are too full proof for anyone to undermine

The SDP governorship candidate said he and the party leadership had taken time to exhaustively examine measures against electoral fraud introduced by the commission and are satisfied that the votes of the electorate will ultimately prevail.

“All our supporters should disregard any alarm about crooks reconfiguring BVAS devices. It’s just not possible. We have total confidence in the ability of INEC to secure our votes,” Ajaka told the meeting.