Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
Hoodlums, in the early hours of Tuesday, destroyed and set ablaze some constituency projects embarked upon by Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West Senatorial District of the state.
The four destroyed constituency projects, which were part of the projects slated to be commissioned yesterday by the senator include four blocks of classrooms each, at Government Girls Secondary School, Sarkin Noma; Lokongoma Secondary School, Phase 1; and Adankolo Secondary School, all situated in Lokoja the state capital.
Although no arrest has been made yet over the destruction, Melaye also confirmed threats to his life, even as he claimed some leaflets were circulated yesterday, in Lokoja, signifying he would be attacked.
Reacting on behalf of the state government, the media aide to Governor Yahaya Bello, Kingsley Fanwo, who spoke at the Government Girls Secondary School, Sarkin Nomo, said: “Government condemns the incident. Education is the leading thematic area of the state government and, so, it will not allow any element derail it.
“Irrespective of who is doing the project, the fund is from government. So, weather it is the executive or legislative, such projects should rather be applauded and not destroyed. We have directed the security operatives to assess the situation, get to the root of the matter, unravel the perpetrators and bring them to book.”
The state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Rosemary Osikoya, who was among the government officials who visited the sites, said government will not fold its arms until the perpetrators are fished out.
“We expect people to respect the sanctity of education. This act is masterminded and not accidental. The buildings were burnt, including the chairs.
If not for the serving Corps members around, who tried to put out the flame, it would have been worse than this.
“We appeal to everybody to collaborate with us in education and not use it as a meeting point for political sabotage. This is a dastard act, the state interest should be paramount rather than the individual political ego.”
The State Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations, Mr. Monday Kuryas who was also at hand narrated that the hoodlums forced their way into the buildings.
He said the act was premeditated as the arsonists used tyres to burn down the building and damaged some other structures.
He said the police are already investigating the matter and will soon apprehend the arsonists.
Meanwhile, the traditional ruler of Isanlu Makutu, Oba Tolorunjuwon Ayo a.k.a Tanna has said governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has done so much to deserve the massive support of the people.
Oba Ayo made this assertion in his palace yesterday when Senator Smart Adeyemi paid him a traditional homage during his tour of Yagba Federal constituency.
The traditional ruler who specifically said Yagba people have never had it so good said it was Governor Bello’s administration who put an end to the age- long water problem in some communities under his domain and also brought to an end the over 14 years electricity problem in the area.
Apart from giving political patronage to the area, the second class traditional ruler said the governor had already converted the cottage hospital, Isanlu to a full fledged general hospital stocked with the latest health facilities.
The monarch who was full of praises for Adeyemi said no politician in the whole of Kogi West Senatorial District (comprising of seven local government areas of the state) has done so much to touch the lives of the people like he did while in the National Assembly.
He said he practically witnessed when Adeyemi distributed over 400 vehicles aside from 15 hospital ambulances, and hundreds of hair dryers, grinding machines, among others to members of his constituency.
The traditional ruler called on other politicians in the area to emulate Adeyemi’s virtues stressing that playing politics without touching lives was antithetical to the people.
Responding, the two termed senator, Adeyemi, said he was in the palace to commiserate with the traditional over the demise of the paramount ruler of the area and the Agbana of Isanlu, Oba Aaron Ikuborije.
Adeyemi who stressed he was on tour of Yagba Federal Constituency to dialogue with his people said unlike others, he was in politics to touch lives of the people “due to my unbridled passion and drive to touch lives of the common man.”
Adeyemi who was accompanied by all the seven All progressive Congress party chairmen was treated to a rousing welcome as he toured major towns and villages in Yagba Land.