Irate youths in Lokoja, Kogi State began pelting stones at Governor Yahaya Bello yesterday during the Jumaat prayers, according to eyewitnesses.
The stoning, it was learned by SaharaReporters, is likely connected to corruption allegations rocking Mr. Bello’s administration and from growing resentment against the Kogi government for not paying workers salaries or pensions. Kogi residents have noted that bailout funds were made available to Mr. Bello but they have not been used to pay worker debts.
Mr. Bello, who was attending prayers at the Lokoja Central Mosque, arrived to the location in a long convoy of state cars including Armored Personnel Carriers, according to Kogi residents.
The governor reportedly arrived late to the prayers, missing one raqa’at prayer, but was forced from completing his remaining prayers when worshipers inside the mosque began booing and jesting him.
Mr. Bello was forced to flee the humiliating scene based on “security advice” from his aides, according to sources at the scene.
However, when the embattled governor left the mosque he was met by a horde of disgruntled youth who began to pelt stones and castigate him with insults.
The scene erupted when security agents began shooting their weapons into the air to disperse the crowds and firing tear gas canisters at them.
Eyewitnesses disclosed that nearby youths retaliated by throwing the canisters back at the security detail as Mr. Bello cowered from the scene.
Mr. Bello was eventually smuggled into his car and whisked away accompanied by his convoy.
According to an NGO Egalitarian Mission for Africa, the Kogi State government, under the leadership of Mr. Bello, has been accused of looting N11 billion in state funds and not paying its workers as a consequence.