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Governors using thugs, state security outfits to oppress opponents

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The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba has lamented that some state governors in the country were perpetrating violence on their opponents in their states.

He lamented that the force had received reports and complaints about such governors using political thugs and sub-national security outfits under their control to
Intimidate their opponents.

The IGP spoke on Thursday at a meeting with heads of political parties in the country and other security agencies.

He noted that , “It is on record that not less than fifty-two (52) cases of such politically-motivated, intra and inter-party violence has been recorded across twenty-two (22) states since the official commencement of campaigns for the 2023 General Elections on 28th September 2022.

Read also: 2023: IGP in closed door meeting with heads of political parties

“We have been receiving reports of some state governors who encourage political thugs and sub-national security outfits under their control to disrupt seamless and statutorily guaranteed campaign activities of parties or candidates with whom they hold opposing political views.

“In so doing, they deploy their powers and influences to either prevent the mounting of campaign billboards or pull them down, while also denying political opponents of spaces to undertake their campaigns or peaceful political congregations in contravention of the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 (As amended).

“Henceforth, therefore, we shall put machinery in motion that will in the most proactive manner identify, isolate, apprehend, and bring any political actor and the foot soldiers they might be motivated to engage in violence at political rallies or any other political engagement to deserved justice.

“We have also resolved to emplace firm actions that will deter targeted attacks on INEC assets across the country. More than a stern warning, this is a clarion call for us all, both as security agencies and political actors to speak out with one voice in condemning political violence in overriding national security and democratic interests,” the IGP said.

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