By Milcah Tanimu
The All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) are engaged in a blame game after an armed attack targeted the residence of the Kogi State Residence Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Gabriel Longpet, during the early hours of Friday.
Gunmen reportedly stormed the REC’s residence, discharging rounds of gunfire. In response, the APC campaign council, during a press conference on Friday, squarely pointed fingers at the defeated governorship candidate of the SDP, urging his arrest and prosecution. Kingsley Fanwo, the Director of Media and Publicity for the APC Campaign Council, asserted that the SDP candidate, Ajaka, and his supporters exhibited violent tendencies, holding them accountable for the incident at the REC’s residence.
Fanwo emphasized that the attack occurred days after the APC campaign council alerted the nation about SDP thugs planning to assault the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He alleged that the assailants engaged security forces in a fierce gun battle, resulting in the burning of vehicles at the REC’s residence and the surrounding area. Fanwo further claimed thwarted attempts to set the Kogi State Government House and the State APC Secretariat in Lokoja ablaze.
The Campaign Council contended that the SDP candidate and accomplices sought to tamper with certain documents at INEC before delivering them to their legal team.
In contrast, the Social Democratic Party denied any involvement in the assault on the REC’s residence.
A statement issued by the Director of New Media for the Muri/Sam Campaign Organisation, David Ijele, on Friday in Lokoja, condemned the attempt on Dr. Hale Gabriel Longpet’s life. Ijele stressed the need for elections to be treated without violence, emphasizing that if won transparently, the legal process should unfold without interference. He expressed gratitude for the timely intervention of the Army, preventing potential harm to the commissioner and his family. Ijele denounced the attackers’ behavior as unacceptable in a democratic society, highlighting the destruction of vehicles and theft of valuables during the incident.