Dr. Olu Agunloye,
National Secretary, Social Democratic Party (SDP)

Uncanny and deadly steps including Yahoo Plus antics by an incumbent Governor.

Since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the schedule for the off-season
Governorship elections in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo States, political activities in Kogi State have been marred
by unwarranted violence, arsons, destruction of property and extrajudicial killings. In fact, under the
leadership of His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello, there have been brazen demonstration of hate and
extreme political intolerance leading to repressive measures and violent attacks by State-Actors, illegal
deployments of State apparatus, and quasi-security bodies.
Nigerians and security enforcement forces and their Service Chiefs have witnessed situations in Kogi State
wherein non-state actors usually camouflage in Police or military uniforms and armed with quasi-security
military kits just to carry out unwholesome repressive acts against innocent citizens and to intimidate the
opposition parties. The level of recklessness in the violence, arsons, and extrajudicial killings in Kogi State
became so brutal that the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC had to
send separate petitions to the President, the Inspector General of Police and all the Service Chiefs.

However, two consequent developments in Kogi State have arisen which form the subject matter of this
write-up. The first is the emergence of a credible and popular alternative to the Governor Bello dynasty. The
second is the popularisation of this alternative especially by the uncanny contributions of Governor Yahaya
Bello which make this popularisation to spread like wild fire in strong winds.

The emergence of a credible alternative to succeed the outgoing Governor Bello has now been established
by the statewide acceptance of one of the Governorship Candidates in person of Alhaji Murtala Yakubu
Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). The Wikipedia used very strong terms to describe Alhaji Ajaka
when it wrote of him as being with a “deep understanding of the intricacies of governance” who has “garnered
the respect and admiration of both his peers and the public …” The renowned Wikipedia also stressed that
“Murtala Yakubu dedicated his efforts towards securing a resounding victory for the election of President
Bola Tinubu in the February 2023 general election.”
Alhaji Murtala Ajaka presents easily as a humble and amiable young man who is sharply focused on
recreating a new prosperous Kogi State driven by massive youth employment and emancipation of women.
He is widely received by the people of Kogi State. In practical terms, his demonstration of his dedication to
public service and a deep understanding of the intricacies of governance is evident from the meticulous way
Social Democratic Party
National HQ: 17 Nairobi Street. Wuse II. Abuja
he has planned his campaign programmes and his well-articulated mission for a new Kogi State centred on
creating and sharing wealth as a hub of industry, tourism, ICT developments and creativity.

The “Murification” of Kogi State is a colloquial coinage to describe the springing up of the mass appeal across
Kogi State for Alhaji Murtala Yakubu Ajaka who they fondly call “Muri”. In various groups and communities,
it is common to hear things like ‘this campus or that LG has become “Murified.”’ The multidimensional
processes which throw up more and more people who have become attracted to or fixated on the Muri
candidature are what have been termed as “Murification”. As we shall show later, the chief promoter for the
Murification of Kogi State is no less than His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello himself.

The remainder of this submission will be on the testimonials of His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello to
the excellence, capabilities and capacities of his to-be successor, Alhaji Murtala Yakubu Ajaka.
Testimony 1: The Attack on Ajaka’s Entourage
Early in June 2023, Muritala Yakubu Ajaka had meticulously planned courtesy visits to Kogi State First Class
Traditional Rulers, starting with HRM Ohiemige of Koton Karfe before the commencement of formal
campaigns. When Governor Bello was informed of a long motorcade of over 100 vehicles that followed Alhaji
Muritala Yakubu Ajaka to pay courtesy visit to HRM Ohiemige of Koton Karfe on 3 June 2023, he decided
that the proposed visits must be stopped, and that Alhaji Ajaka must be halted from entering Kogi State by
all means. This deadly intervention, which almost cost Alhaji Murtala Ajaka his life, immediately catapulted
him into the top of the mind awareness of Kogi people and Nigeria at large. Thousands of bystanders,
passengers and motorists watched in amazement as the government team blocked the major carriageway
at the Mataco City Gate to Lokoja and rained bullets on Ajaka’s car and 28 other vehicles in his entourage
in broad daylight. Ajaka and team scampered to safety and headed back to Abuja. This shameful show of
reckless power was not only recorded in videos but streamed live on Facebook.

Testimony 2: The Governor Enlisted Members of his Cabinet
The Governor briefed his commissioners on the strategies to “tame Alhaji Murtala Ajaka” and assigned roles
to himself and the commissioners thereby exposing his own weakness to them and inadvertently highlighting
the superiority of Alhaji Ajaka. The Commissioner for Solid Mineral, Mr. Bashir Gegu was detailed to set up
a deadly ambush after Koton Karfe between Murtala Mohammed Bridge and Banda while the Commissioner
for Information, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo was detailed to cover up with a press conference to propagate lies that
it was Alhaji Yakubu Ajaka that attacked the Governor’s convoy. The Governor’s briefing to his Cabinet
showed the Exco members that their boss was indeed jittery about the emergence of the man that Wikipedia
described as “with deep understanding of the intricacies of governance” who has “garnered the respect and
admiration of both his peers and the public”. It could be at this stage that some members of the Governor
Bello’s cabinet became “Murified” and started to make overtures to Alhaji Murtala Ajaka, the “Incoming”.
When the Commissioner of Information, on behalf of Governor Yahaya Bello, faced the Press on 3 June
2023 to lie about the highway attacks on Ajaka, he knew that his boss and entire cabinet were aware that he
was lying but only expected that the Kogi people would be misguided to believe the lies. It was a

miscalculation which only gave Alhaji Ajaka a major boost and got more people including some of the Bello’s
Commissioners “Murified”.

Testimony 3: The Governor announced self as a predator.
The Governor, who was acting under Official Oath as the Chief Security Officer of Kogi State, later held a
worldwide press conference on 3 June 2023 wherein he announced self as a predator “whose path was
crossed” by a prey. He likened himself to a “lion” and Alhaji Murtala Ajaka to an “antelope”. The Governor’s
sarcastic allegory of the “lion and antelope” was not only odious, reckless, and condemnable to the public,
but was a major pointer to how the Governor was prepared to renege on his Governorship oath to protect
the people of Kogi State because he was jittery about the emergence of Alhaji Murtala Yakubu Ajaka. The
people of Kogi State understood this and became only more “Murified”. Several youths became Murified at
this stage and signed up to work for the Muri candidature.

Testimony 4: The Governor ordered the killing of Okwo, his former ally.
As the popularity of Alhaji Murtala Ajaka continued to spread, the head of the Governor’s special squad, Mr.
Kabir Bala, also known as Okwo denounced the incumbent Governor, his hitherto benefactor to pledge his
support for the candidature of Alhaji Murtala Ajaka who he described as the “incoming Governor of Kogi
State”. Almost instantly, an infuriated Governor ordered the attack on Okwo. Okwo’s properties were set
ablaze, and a team of state actors and non-state actors later killed Okwo on 23 June 2023 in a false flag
operation which also got other innocent citizens killed. These extrajudicial killings raised more questions
about the motives of the Governor and enhanced the determination of the Muri’s support base.

Testimony 5: The Governor’s Supporters destroyed Muri’s Secretariat
As the popularity of Ajaka continue to soar, the Governor issued Executive Orders and byelaws to declare
Alhaji Ajaka “wanted”, to bar all Traditional Rulers from receiving him at the Palaces and ordered armed
roadblocks to man all roads leading to Kogi State to keep Alhaji Ajaka away or get him arrested. But on 6
July 2023, the unimaginable happened. A mammoth organic crowd of thousands of men and women
welcomed Alhaji Murtala Ajaka into Idah LG in Kogi East. It was like “how did he get there?” “How did he
raise such a humongous crowd”? In the company of his amiable Running Mate, Chief Sam Abenemi, Alhaji
Murtala Yakubu Ajaka was in his elements as he addressed the gargantuan crowd, sang with them, and
danced with them.
But how was this received by the outgoing players at the high places in Kogi State? By the third day, 9 July
2023, non-state actors shielded by State Actors, proceeded to the gorgeous three-story building which
served as Ajaka Campaign Secretariat in Lokoja and destroyed the building. They gathered as many items
as they could lay their hands on and set these on fire to please their Master. The event which happened at
about 7.00am was watched by thousands of inhabitants of Kogi State and was covered live on video. The
Kogi people at home and abroad watched this sordidness helplessly but knew that the time is up for the
incumbent Governor. They became reinvigorated for more Murification.

Testimony 6: The Governor’s Supporters burnt down Muri’s Secretariat
On Tuesday, 23 July 2023, the now much popularised Ajaka landed in Lokoja with local and international
pressmen and photographers, as well as architects and engineers to inspect the extent of the damage to the
prestigious secretariat so that they may cause repairs and renovations. In a jiffy, thousands of people flocked
the location and he had to address them at impromptu rally in front of the Secretariat. All these were televised
live to Nigeria and the world. But this showing by Alhaji Murtala Ajaka obviously did not go down well with
the supporters of Governor Yahaya Bello, who regrouped withing 24 hours and attacked the already wrecked
Campaign Secretariat again. The non-state actors broke the building walls and windows to gain entrance
into the Secretariat and set the building ablaze. Again, the people of Kogi State watched helplessly but
became more Murified.

Testimony 7: The Governor Himself Stage-managed a Yahoo-Yahoo Defection
As an undeterred and unstoppable Murtala Ajaka continued to harvest thousands of organically grown
supporters across the State – in Koton Karfe, Olamaboro, Ijumu, Ogori-Magongo, Mopamuro Idah, Adavi,
Lokoja, Imane, Okenne, Kabba, Ayingba, and Egume, Yagba and so on, Governor Yahaya Bello escalated
his could-be-deadly intimidation arsenal to the Yahoo-Yahoo or Yahoo Plus level by stage-managing a ghost
defection of non-existent ‘SDP State Excos’. The Governor, in a most elaborate, expensive, and widely
publicised event on 11 August 2023 personally received phantom ‘SDP Excos’, claiming they had defected
to the APC to boost his efforts for his preferred Governorship Candidate who publicly referred to himself as
“a married woman”. The group of Governor Bello’s ghost “SDP Excos” was led by one Mr. Suleiman Isah, a
well-known APC member. In fact, none of the members of the Bello’s Yahoo Plus Exco paraded on
Television was a member of SDP or its Executive Committee (Exco) at the State or LG level as can be
verified from the authentic list with INEC.
So, the question is why has the incumbent outgoing governor of Kogi State descended so low to spend
taxpayers’ money to disguise his own APC members as ghost members of SDP Excos to shore up his
dwindling chances to win the State for his protegee? The Governor’s counterproductive efforts are like
attempts to change the course of a hurricane wind; they have only resulted in promoting SDP Murtala Yakubu
Ajaka as the next Governor of Kogi State as the Murification process has now taken a life of own, fully turbo￾charged and rapidly propelling itself.

(a) The import of the happenings in Kogi State is not lost on the people of the State who have watched
how creating and spreading of violence have become the hallmark of their current government in the last
eight years. They have solemnly pitched their tents with Alhaji Murtala Yakubu Ajaka who is focused on a
Development Agenda to create and spread wealth in the State.
(b) Governor Bello, by his own intrinsic habits and impulses, has effectively carried the Murification process
beyond the borders of Kogi State into his Party’s (APC) National Working Committee, the APC National
Secretariat and even into the Presidency. What an unrelenting Murification-ist !!
Dr Olu Agunloye,
National Secretary, SDP,
Former Minister of Defence (Navy) and Former Minister of Power and Steel

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