The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, on Thursday warned politicians against the use of thugs to cause violence during the 2023 general elections.
Monguno, who issued the warning at a ministerial media briefing organised by the presidential communications team at the State House in Abuja, said promoters of violence during campaign rallies would face the full wrath of the law.
He said that security operatives had been directed to ensure the smooth conduct of the elections.
Monguno said: “One thing I can assure you is, the president has given clear directives. The people’s will must prevail. What happened in Anambra or Osun and Ekiti is what we want to happen all over the country.
“Let the people choose their leaders. Whoever they want, then later, they can decide. But in the process of electing who governs them, we must be mindful of the fact that there are people who are hell-bent on forcing to do their bidding.
“It’s not even a function of numbers or a function of money. It’s a big problem. It’s a problem that’s also linked with the complexity of society because if you are really who you are, you don’t need to hire thugs.
“If you cannot restrain your thugs, the government will do that for you. And you will be called on the carpet and you will answer questions. We have a lot of politicians, and I’m not being specific about any politician or party. This virus has to be contained.
“I have given a clear warning that any politician who engages in any unpalatable activity — the use of thugs, and I know we have a lot of political thugs, straining at the leash, foaming at the mouth, desperate to bite and taste blood — we are going to apply everything within the powers of the government.”
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