The protest was to also ensure that the High Commissioner took their petition seriously and delivered same to President Buhari.
A group of Nigerians in the United Kingdom under the aegis of Kogites Disapora Coalition has staged a peaceful protest at the Nigerian High Commission in London against the resurgence of insecurity in Kogi State.
The protesters led by the convener of the coalition, Ayo Akinuli-Kofar, who is a resident in Manchester, said they came to formally send a message to President Muhammadu Buhari through the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
According to him, the protest was to also ensure that the High Commissioner took their petition seriously and delivered same to President Buhari. He said the petition had earlier been delivered to the High Commission last week.
Their request specifically was for Buhari to ensure that the sponsors and perpetrators of terrorism and banditry which was resurfacing in the state be “investigated and brought to book.”
According to the photographs and videos sent to PUNCH on Monday, the protesters were seen with banners with inscriptions such as “Kogites in diaspora say no to resurgence of violence in our state”, “Security agents must invite those defending terrorists in the media now” and “Kogi must not return to dark days of daily bloodletting.”
They declared that the protest would continue should the Presidency, the Governor Yahaya Bello-led state government and security agencies delayed or refused to ensure the arrest and prosecution of alleged defenders and enablers of insecurity in the state.
The petition to Buhari deposited with Nigerian High Commission (popularly known as Nigerian House) in the UK and signed by Akinuli-Kofar, was titled, “Petition requesting immediate investigation and prosecution of all sponsors of violence in Kogi State.”
He said, “The feelers from home are quite disturbing and we cannot allow Kogi State to be plunged into chaos by violence mongers. Kindly act on these our cries for help in Kogi State and do the needful for our people’s safety and peace before it gets out of hand.
“Your Excellency, kindly accept the assurances of our highest considerations. Your Excellency, it is with utmost humility and a patriotic sense of duty that we address this urgent petition to your good office regarding an imminent deterioration of the security situation in our dear Kogi State after a considerably long period of relief. Although, based abroad, we are in constant touch with the ongoings in Nigeria, particularly in Kogi State.
“Investigations through families and friends that are on ground in the state have revealed that certain politicians are beginning to recruit criminal elements who are hellbent on ruining the peace being enjoyed in the state for so long. Of major concern to us are the activities and inflammatory statements of some prominent politicians who seem to trade in instigating violence and bloodshed.
“We must at this point express our disappointment that Governor Bello is being overly politically correct by not taking a decisive action in collaboration with relevant security agencies to curtail the nefarious activities of these enablers of insecurity perhaps because they are politicians and the government may be wrongly accused of intimidating opponents or prominent figures. But for how long will the lives of Kogi people be played as a political chess game as not to step on toes?”