KOGI State Governor Yahaya Bello yesterday stormed Okene to demolish buildings used by suspected kidnappers, terrorists and robbers to perpetrate their crime.
The governor was accompanied by the Commissioner of Police, Wilson Inalegwu, and heads of other security agencies.
Two of such structures have so far been demolished – one in Oyunkoko, Okene council, belonging to a suspected kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Tijanni Bakare, and the notorious Ahlul-Sunnah Mosque in Inike, which was reportedly hijacked in 2015 by Boko Haram members and used as an operational base.
At the demolition, Bello vowed to implement the Anti-kidnapping, Robbery and Terrorism Law to the latter. He warned those harbouring criminals to repent or have their structures pulled down.
CP Inalegwu said it would no longer be business as usual for criminals operating in any part of the state.
“This is a strong message to kidnappers and hoodlums to change their ways; they should work hard and earn a decent living.
“We want to make Kogi safe so that residents and travellers will not have the fear of being kidnapped,” he said.
Governor Bello has been described as “well prepared for 21st century leadership” as he strives to become the best governor ever in the history of the state.
His Director General on Media and Publicity, Kingsley Fanwo, who addressed reporters yesterday, said those who think Bello is an ‘accidental governor’ are bereft of how he has developed his leadership skills over the years.
According to Fanwo, events of the last 13 months are beginning to “sound an unmistakable death knell on the politics of the pot for the few”, insisting that Bello’s achievements, in just over a year in office, showed his intent to break records, affect lives and become the “best ever” in the history of the state.
He said: “I am sure the American Ambassador was impressed by what he saw in Kogi, and most importantly, the hunger in the eyes of the governor to put the state on the right track. “American Ambassadors don’t go everywhere; they go to where there is the right drive for development and human empowerment. The significance of his visit has dawned on those who never believed in what we are doing. They have been forced to look at us and appreciate what the governor is doing to develop the state.”