By HENRY UMORU
ABUJA – GOVERNOR Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State said, yesterday, that over 600 suspects have so far been arrested and were being prosecuted in connection with the murder of nine members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, during the post election violence in the State.
Yuguda who spoke with newsmen in Abuja, said that when he dies he would be accountable to his God for the killings as the governor of the State, adding that the suspects whom he described as beasts and animals would be made to face the full wrath of the law for taking the lives of human beings.
The governor said that if the law permitted, he would personally shoot the suspects if they are finally found to be guilty of the offence.
Yuguda said: “Definitely, the law must take its own course. We have already arrested over 600 people, some of them actually killed the corpse members. We will prosecute them and if the law will allow me, after they are found guilty, I will take the gun and shoot them myself.
Denies spitting on graves of corps members.
“What is the correlation between that headline that I spat on top of the grave of these corps members? These boys that have toiled for twenty years with their parents paying their school fees, they came to serve me. They were serving me happily. Anytime I went to them, they milled around me, and I offered to give them jobs immediately they finished.
Each of them was willing to take up a job in Bauchi because by the provision of the constitution, any one can become a citizen of Bauchi State after seven years because that is what the constitution says.
“You become an indigene of an environment after seven years and I give you permanent and pensionable appointment right from day one. How can someone now say I spat on the corpses of the corps members? I became news, people were writing articles about me as if they don’t know my antecedent. You portrayed me as an animal, as somebody who is heartless, I think that person who has engineered the write-up, probably, he would have been compromised to run me down as an individual.”
The governor who noted that youth corps members were gullible, said the government should stop exposing them to the hazards of elections.
He added: “I personally feel that corps members shouldn’t have been exposed to the dangerous trend of Nigerian politics because we have so many ‘animals’ around who were prepared to snatch boxes, who were trying to use machete to kill people and these youths are serving the nation.
“I said very strongly that they shouldn’t have been part of that very serious process that exposed them to danger and by the time I handed over the corps members to INEC, they were not under my protection even though I was the governor.
“INEC should have given them sufficient protection, but as I have said, what will I do, did I ask God when I was coming to this earth? I didn’t ask the Almighty God when I was coming and same when I would be going. I am not sure if I will live until evening, or when I will die, but if somebody is destined to die a day he was destined to die, what are you going to do about it?
The governor who explained that he made the statement regarding destiny in the light of his Islamic faith, said: “As a Muslim, that is what Islam says for any Muslim that there is time to come to the world and time to go. I can not spat on somebody who is a dead man. I wept even when the Director of NYSC came, when I was making my speech, I had to break my speech because I was remembering the day when those souls would meet me in my grave and they will ask me why did you allow people to slaughter me in your own land when you were a leader?”
On his message to parents of the slain corps members and the nation, Yuguda said: “I have offered condolences to the parents, in fact, I am even supposed to be condoled. I sympathise with the parents and I sympathise with myself.
I sympathise with the parents because they lost their children whom they had spent twenty years paying school fees for, looking up to them to help them when they eventually finish their youth service and I sympathise with myself because these great souls were lost in my land where I am the governor.
Who won the election in Bauchi?
“And you ask a question, why did this happen to these corps members in the first instance? Who won the election in Bauchi? If you wanted to vote for PDP that day, they macheted your hands, cut off your hands, macheted your fingers.
You dared not vote for PDP, there were hoodlums there, singing all sorts of things. In fact that same day, they burnt down the INEC offices, they burnt down our vehicles, burnt down mosques and churches.
The house of my Secretary to the State Government was burnt down to ashes together with the Mosque. His father’s house was burnt down to ashes with the Mosque and yet there was no cancellation of the election there, so it is very sad, a sad thing in the history of our country that a corps member would be molested.”