NEWS DIGEST – The political violence that erupted in Okene area of Kogi on March 3 has spread to Okehi and Adavi local government areas with many houses vandalised and several people injured.
Some of the victims of the violence told newsmen on Monday in a telephone interview that the armed and masked men moved about in four vehicles, attacking them from late Saturday night till the early hours of Sunday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that seven houses and nine vehicles, including a motorcycle, were vandalised by the hoodlums in both local government areas.
Three persons were also injured by the attackers in Okehi area.
Among the victims were a two-term member of the House of Representatives, Abdulkarim Salihu, Mr Jude Sule, the state Financial Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) and the Chairman of the party in Okehi, Mr Adinoyi Aroke.
Other victims include the immediate past council leader of Adavi Local Government, Mr John Adebisis , Mr Yakubu Isiaka, the PDP youth leader in Okehi and one other person simply identified as Haruna.
Both Isiaka and Haruna were among seriously injured by their attackers.
Narrating his experience, a victim, Salihu said he was attacked at his house at Oboroke, Ihima, Okehi Local Government Area at about 11:30 p.m.
He said that he immediately called the police who arrived promptly, saying that the hoodlums had vandalised four vehicles including a Jeep and the house before policfe arrival.
Salihu, a legislator, said that the timely arrival of policemen saved him and members of his family from the attackers.
He alleged that some members of a political party were behind the attack, saying that he had mentioned their names in a petition to the Commissioner of Police.
According to him, the attackers came to his house at Oziokutu in Ogaminana area of Adavi Local Government Area at about 12 midnight.
He said that the suspected political thugs were able to get into his compound but could not gain entrance into the main building, saying that they vandalised the building, a motorcycle and also made away with another motorcycle.
The violence erupted in Okene at about 9 a.m. on March 3, when armed hoodlums invaded AFIMS Hotel, venue of an empowerment programme organized by Sen. Ahmed Ogembe.
Reacting, the Divisional Police Officer of Okehi Local Government, SP Clement George, confirmed the incidents but said that the situation had been brought under control.
George also said that the matter had been transferred to the police Criminal Investigation Department at Lokoja, the state capital.