A total of five persons have reportedly lost their lives in Kogi state after a protest organized by Senator Dino Melaye against the state government went awry.
Reports indicate that, It was a violent day in Lokoja, Monday morning when unknown gunmen invaded a peaceful protest organised by Senator Dino Melaye to compel the state government to pay civil servants their salaries and open tertiary institutions in the state. The protest which reportedly kicked off at around 11:00 am turned bloody after unidentified gunmen hijacked the demonstration.
The gunmen, armed with different weapons including guns and cutlasses were reported to have stormed the venue of the protest from the Nataco junction thereby causing panic and sending people in all direction as they scampered for safety.
Melaye, who had already finished addressing the students,and had given the state government a 30-day ultimatum to pay workers’ salaries and reopen the tertiary institutions, warning that failure to do so would compel him to lead a civil protest at the expiration of the ultimatum. A source said but this speech was disrupted by the unknown men which left 5 dead.
Melaye, who escaped death by a whisker, took cover when the gunmen opened fire on him. However, the security personnel attached to Melaye quickly responded in an exchange of gunfire. At the end of the bloody confrontation, five people were reportedly killed, while other persons sustained injuries, including two personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS) attached to Melaye. The gun battle, which lasted for more than one hour, saw the arrival of Kogi State Police Commissioner, Wilson Inalegwu, riot policemen and military men fully armed to restore law and order.
Melaye, after the violent incident, described the invasion as the second assassination attempt on his life. He said two of the DSS operative attached to him were shot by the gunmen, adding that a pump action gun recovered from one of the gunmen who was killed was taken to the DSS’ office in Lokoja.
The senator also alleged that the Special Adviser to the governor on Security, Jerry Omodara, Senior Special Assistant on Political Matters, Mallam Abdul Dolla, and Special Adviser on Multilateral, Mr. Adoga were all present during the attack.