The Senator-Elect of Kogi Central, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, has accused Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, of a plot to harm her during the senatorial election that took place in March.
She made the allegation on Tuesday’s edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today
“I heard guns; I had his henchmen shoot at my vehicle; I have video evidence of that,” she said.
“It was the immediate past; they were adorned in APC shirts and one of them was Amoka; he was actually the returning officer for Okehi local government. He led the group of ten men to shoot at me; I have the video captured in that.”
Akpoti-Uduaghan expressed concerns regarding the governor’s recent statement where he acknowledged her victory as the duly elected candidate for Kogi Central.
She criticized the governor’s remarks, highlighting the inconsistency of endangering people’s lives and labeling it as the ‘beauty of democracy.’
“He said this is the beauty of politics; this is not the beauty of politics. You don’t endanger people, you don’t set out to kill people, you don’t destroy properties, and you don’t frustrate the electoral process just because you want your candidate to win and call it ‘the beauty of democracy’,” she said.
‘A Show Of Strength’
Akpoti-Uduaghan additionally alleged that the governor deliberately disrupted essential routes within the state to impede the seamless progress of the election.
“Apart from that, the governor actually thwarts roads. The governor, a day before the election, cut five – he dug gullies, cutting five roads. That was just to prevent the election from taking place, probably endangering my life,” she added.
“It was a day to the election but thank God we had the payloaders and I went all night; we had to cover the gullies so that the election could take place.”
Despite the threats and challenges she faced, Akpoti-Uduaghan maintained that she had to demonstrate her resilience to ensure that she did not portray an image of vulnerability for women involved in or aspiring to engage in political leadership.
“A lot went on that we couldn’t even put before the media because I didn’t want to seem as if I was every day, crying for help. I needed to show strength; I didn’t want to discourage other women like me from entering politics and thinking, ‘Oh, it’s too violent, it’s too volatile’,” she maintained.
“I had to show strength; that was why I did not tell every part of this story; it was so much more than the world knows.”
As of the time of this report, Governor Bello’s team is yet to comment on the matter.
She also spoke about her victory, saying despite an earlier verdict affirming her election, she was unsure if the judgment would be upheld.
“I am twice lucky. Up until I was declared the winner, I wasn’t absolutely sure that I was going to have the appellate court grant me victory because, this is Nigeria, anything can happen,” she said.
“I really praise the judiciary for having the courage to stand forth through the event that took place, by going through the documents diligently and affirming me as the winner. I want to bring the best innovation in leadership closer to the people.”
By Nosakhale Akhimien
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