Suspected political thugs during the early hours of on Monday set ablaze the state secretariat of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Lokoja, the state capital.
The SDP secretariat was earlier attacked on Sunday by unidentified persons, who vandalised its windows and doors, while banners, posters and other campaign materials of the party were also destroyed.
The party secretariat is located adjacent the Lokoja Local Government Area secretariat, around the Paparanda Square in Lokoja.
The SDP earlier raised the alarm of alleged plans to attack the convoy of the SDP governorship candidate, Mrs. Natasha Akpoti, adding that the unfolding events confirmed its outcry, ahead of Saturday’s poll.
The Kogi SDP secretariat, which was reportedly vandalized days earlier, shares boundary with the old All Progressives Congress (APC) state secretariat along the Murtala Mohammed Way, Lokoja.
Chairman of the SDP in the state, Mouktar Atima, who confirmed the attacks, accused the ruling APC of being behind the attacks on the party secretariat.
Atima accused the APC of “releasing their boys to unleash terror on our party.”
He said the development was a confirmation of several threats received recently by the party’s candidate, Natasha Akpoti.
The SDP chairman, however, said no amount of harassment and destruction would deter the party and its governorship candidate from contesting and winning the Saturday election, saying they remained undaunted.
He appealed to party loyalists not to be discouraged by the development.
In his reaction however, the Director General of the Bello/Onoja Campaign Organisation, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, denied the allegation that those behind the arson were sponsored by the APC.
He said the ruling party and its candidate had been busy campaigning round the state and “have no time for irrelevant issues.”
When contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Busari, said the command was aware of the incident, adding that investigation had commenced.
Meanwhile, the only SDP member in the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Adefisoye, yesterday condemned the burning of the party’s secretariat in Kogi State by suspected political thugs.
The lawmaker representing Idanre/Ifedore Federal Constituency, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Oluyemi Fasipe, in Akure, the Ondo State capital, said the culture of political intolerance and ‘do or die’ brand of politics being practised in Kogi State should be condemned by every right-thinking Nigerian.
“This attack on our party secretariat and members of the party in Lokoja is condemnable and those in charge of the state’s security architecture must get to the root of it,” the statement partly read.
Adefisoye urged all the supporters of the SDP gubernatorial candidate in Kogi State, Mrs. Natasha Akpoti, to remain law-abiding and not to contemplate avenging the attacks so far launched on the party by sponsored political thugs.