House of Representatives member James Faleke (APC-Lagos) yesterday gave reasons why Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State was harassing his supporters.
Faleke, who addressed reporters in Abuja, said party leaders from Ekirin-Ade community in Ijumu Local Government of Kogi State, were arrested because the indigenes shunned the re-inauguration of the health centre built and inaugurated in 2007.
Faleke, who was deputy to the late Kogi governorship candidate, Abubakar Audu, during last November 21 election, said the health centre was repainted and inaugurated by the wife of the governor. But he said the indigenes refused to attend because they felt it was a fraud.
The lawmaker, while condemning the midnight invasion and arrest at residences of Funso Olumoko and Cornelius Olowo, urged the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, to stop the attacks on Okun communities and his followers by Governor Bello.
His words: “Two weeks ago, from my community – Ekirin Ade in Ijumu Local Government, I received a call that the wife of Alhaji Bello was coming to inaugurate a health centre there and the question everybody asked was if that was the health centre inaugurated in 2007. What has been done to that health centre to warrant the state apparatus to move to Ekirin Ade, about four to five hours drive, to inaugurate?
“And we sent people to the health centre to find out whether it was demolished and rebuilt overnight. And we discovered that the doors that were provided during the construction were wooden doors and those doors, 11 of them, were changed to ‘flush doors’, not security doors.
“The building was of course repainted. But to our surprise, the new administration set up an inauguration plaque, calling it a ‘modern health centre’, and the question was that what is modern in this health centre? No equipment, no doctors. To compound it, the community leaders have been funding the health centre.
“Only for the wife of Alhaji Bello to say they want to re-inaugurate the health centre. So we saw that this is ‘fraud’ that must not be allowed. And the people say they are not coming. So they stayed back.
“Surprisingly, the police, of course, induced by Alhaji Bello went to Olumoko’s house around 1 am, scaled the fence, broke the door, entered his room. They met his aged parents – father and mother, and they broke the ceiling, thinking maybe, he hid himself there.
“They ransacked his wardrobe but he was not found. Thereafter, he was declared wanted.’’
He expressed concern about attacks by Bello’s loyalists within Kogi State and the venue of the Election Tribunal in Abuja.
The lawmaker distanced himself from a group, called ‘Faleke Support Movement’, and urged those masquerading under the name to reveal themselves.
He said: “At no time have we ever had a group, called Faleke support group, it does not exist and those claiming to know the Faleke Support Movement should identify them.
“I believe the opposition in Kogi State are the ones coming out with a group that does not exist to tarnish our image. We are law abiding citizens, we go about peacefully and there’s no reason why we should take laws into our hands.”