The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has denied reports that he was stoned during a Jumaat prayer in Lokoja, the state capital on Friday.
Reports earlier had it that Bello was stoned over non-payment of salaries during Jumaat prayers at the Lokoja central Mosque to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the creation of the state.
But reacting to the report, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, said some hired miscreants were caught with stones while trying to attack secirity operatives.
Fanwo in a statement said, “Our attention has been drawn to the unfortunate incident, which occurred during the Jumaat Prayer at the Lokoja Central Mosque to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the creation of Kogi State.
“It was discovered that some sponsored miscreants caused a mild drama as they were caught with stones, while one of them attacked one of the security aides of the Governor.
“The gallant market women at the Lokoja Old Market accosted the perpetrators and stopped them from absconding from the scene in solidarity with the Governor.
“The Governor wishes to thank the market women and security agencies, who rose to the occasion to protect lives and property at the scene of the unfortunate incident. No life was lost and no serious injury was recorded.
“We can also confirm that arrests have been made and those arrested are already giving useful information to security agents investigating the politically motivated attack at the Mosque.
“Governor Yahaya Bello has also urged his supporters to remain calm and not take the law into their hands as he remained committed to the cardinal ideals of his administration. Imported and sponsored miscreants, who have infiltrated the state from neighbouring states should know that Kogi is prepared to protect her citizens from desperate politicians who think they can turn the state to a war zone. The people of Kogi will be protected.
“We are not unaware of scheming by change resistors to sponsor attacks against government officials. The staff verification exercise has come to stay because it has exposed powerful forces, who have been milking the state dry. Sponsoring attacks against the Governor will not stop our march to restore sanity to the polity.
“The administration of Governor Yahaya Bello will soon publish the names of corrupt citizens of the state who are behind the Ghost Workers syndrome.
“Governor Yahaya Bello thanks the people of the state for standing resolutely behind his administration to restore the lost glory of the state.
“We know some failed politicians who have been jolted by the giant strides of the Governor are holding on the last straw. We remain undaunted and committed to the development of the State.”