Lokoja — Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, has warned mercenaries allegedly being hired by opposition parties to disrupt next Saturday's governorship election in the state to stay off the state in their own interests or face the full weight of the law.
Governor Bello, who gave the warning at Anyigba over the weekend, during the Dekina/Bassa Federal Constituency rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said "no amount of evils and sinister plans" can hamper the integrity of the election.
"It is only a bastard that will invite a foreigner to come and kill his people because of election.
"Please do me a favour, youth, women and residents of Igala kingdom; you know yourselves, do not take the laws into your hands. We are not unaware of their plans to import into Kogi state mercenaries from Port Harcourt, Nasarawa, Ekiti, Kwara, Taraba and Agatus from Benue state.
"I am assuring them if they have ever succeeded in doing that in others states, Kogi state November 16 governorship election will be exceptional and it will be the last state they will ever intrude to cause mayhem during election. We are resolute to maintain and sustain the existing peace in the state.
"The forthcoming election is about the future of the citizens of the state and I am optimistic that APC will win the election conveniently because the youths and the women in the state have said no to political godfatherism where governance is being transferred from father to son and from in-law to another in-law", Bello said.
He assured that his second term would witness tremendous achievements especially in the area of youth empowerment.
"Our second tenure will focus on human capital development, education, security and infrastructure development to improve the living standard of the citizens.
"A situation where we have teeming unemployed youth without jobs is not healthy for the state and unacceptable to us. That is why we are resolute to redouble our effort in ensuring that graduates are meaningfully engaged.
"Our efforts in agriculture value chain have started yielding success as 1,700 youth and women in the state have just benefitted from the first phase of the Women and Youth Empowerment Programme (WYEP) of Agro-Processing , Productivity Enhancement And Livelihood Improvement Supports (APPEALS) supported by the World Bank.
"We are ready to take advantage of similar projects to better the lives of our people as we are able to take development to our communities within the minimum resources available to us," he said.