NHRC to interrogate MC Oluomo, Yahaya Bello over violence – Executive Secretary

The National Human Rights Commission on Sunday, said it would invite Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and the Chairman of Lagos State Parks Management Committee, Musiliu Akinsanya, alias MC Oluomo, over their alleged inciting comments amid the general elections.

It was alleged that Kogi governor, Yahyah Bello a day before the presidential and National Assembly elections held on February 25, reportedly ordered bulldozers to demarcate a road linking Kogi Central Senatorial District.

The opposition alleged that the move was a ploy to prevent officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission from taking election materials to the stronghold of candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan.

On his part, MC Oluomo was seen in a viral video, threatening to harm Igbo people living in Lagos if they voted against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state during the recent elections.

He has in a subsequent video clip which he shared via his social media platforms said that he was being jocular with a particular Igbo friend in the earlier footage.

But speaking during the presentation of NHRC preliminary report on the 2023 governorship and state Assembly elections, the Executive Secretary of the commission, Tony Ojukwu (SAN), said both Bello and MC Oluomo would be invited for interrogation.

He said, “We are monitoring the cyber space to track hate speeches and cyber bullying. Part of the sources of our information is the cyber space. We’ll invite MC Oluomo for questioning because his statement is worrisome. I listened to the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State yesterday (Saturday) and he said they were investigating. But that will not stop the commission from carrying out its mandate. We will also invite the Kogi State governor for questioning over what happened in Kogi State.”

According to Ojukwu, the commission, as part of its mandate to promote and protect human rights, deployed 600 officials to monitor polls across the 36 states for the governorship and House of Assembly elections.

He said the preliminary report highlighted key findings by the commission’s officials deployed to monitor over 1,300 polling units across the country.

Ojukwu said, “The environment before the elections was fraught with tension arising from reports and allegations of threats from different political parties and their supporters concerning the elections. Ethnic division and hate speeches were rife in many states, including Lagos, Enugu, Kano, Kaduna and Rivers. This led to the publication by the NHRC of an advisory on hate speech based on ethnic and religious sentiments and 2023 general elections in Nigeria on March 16,2023.

“In Lagos, Enugu, Ebonyi and a few other states, there were threats of violence on opposition supporters, including the use of traditional institutions, schools and the public service. The advisory highlighted areas of concern for the commission and recommended steps to be taken by the various agencies to address the issues before, during and after the elections.”


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