Governor Yahaya Bello has admitted to destroying major roads leading to Kogi Central senatorial district, home to opposition senatorial candidate Natasha Akpoti, on the eve of crucial presidential and parliamentary elections.
Mr Bello defended the move as a preemptive measure to stop terrorists from unleashing havoc on the people of Kogi State, citing a bomb blast that occurred on December 29, during a visit by president Muhammadu Buhari.
“One of the measures arrived at was to restrict the number of routes to the flashpoints to enable security agents properly mount effective surveillance on the other access roads for the safety of the people,” said a statement signed by Kingsley Fanwood, Commissioner for Information and Communications in the state, on February 24.
Ms Akpoti, who wields significant influence in parts of the state, had described the excavation of roads leading to localities considered her strongholds as politically motivated.
The excavation on election night, according to Ms Akpoti, was a deliberate attempt to prevent electoral officials from getting to the five local government areas in her senatorial district.
Ms Akpoti further asserted that the excavation would make it difficult for security personnel to reach and rescue her in the event of an attack.
Mr Bello is not on the ballot but hopes to secure majority votes in Saturday’s poll for candidates of his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party.
The Kogi governor has on several occasions pledged his allegiance to Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC.
“Let me further reassure millions of Nigerian youths and Nigerians, our followers and supporters across the world that I remain a very supportive, ardent supporter, mobilizer, campaigner, and driver of votes for our leader and president in the waiting Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” Mr Bello said in an interview in January.