Suspected thugs allegedly dressed in Police uniforms on Friday invaded Sutoria Hotel in Lokoja, where the Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, had lodged ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi State.
Makinde is in the state to give support to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Musa Wada, who is challenging the incumbent governor of the state, Yaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress.
An eye witness told one of our correspondents that the masked invaders surrounded the hotel in the early hours of Friday claiming to have information that thugs from Ibadan were lodging in the hotel.
Unconfirmed reports said Wada was also in the hotel meeting Makinde.
One of the governor’s aides, who spoke on the condition of anonymity on the telephone, told one of our correspondents that residents in the area raised the alarm when the invaders arrived at the hotel, adding that the governor’s security details also confronted the suspected thugs.
He said, “The invaders arrived at the hotel dressed in the uniform of the Directorate of State Security Services and the police. They were masked and attempting to surround the hotel when people in the area, who were aware that the governor was there, raised the alarm.
“Policemen later arrived to chase them away. This is not good in a democracy. Are we at war? People should be free to make their choice without intimidation.
“If thugs could attempt to harass a governor in a Nigerian state, what awaits the people at the polling unit? If we call them thugs, who gave them the uniform belonging to security outfit? This is not a good thing in a democracy.”
Efforts by one of our correspondents to speak with the governor on one of his mobile telephone lines was not successful while a text message sent to the number had yet to be replied as of the time of filing this report.
The state police commissioner, Hakeem Busari, who confirmed the incident on the telephone to one of our correspondents said the command had the information and immediately deployed officers in the place to chase the thugs masquerading as police officers away.