The inspector-general of police, Usman Baba says that since the official start of campaigns for the 2023 general elections, no less than 52 cases of political, intra, and inter-party violence have been reported. recorded in 22 states.
He said this on Thursday during a meeting with the chairmen of leading political parties at the force headquarters in Abuja.
According to him, the federal government has deployed operatives of the Department of State Services, soldiers, civil defense corps, and Federal Fire Service personnel to INEC offices across the country ahead of the 2023 elections.
Security collaboration: According to him in order to combat these acts of violence, the police are collaborating with other security agencies to increase the deployment of security teams in all INEC assets and facilities across the country.
- “On our part, and as a result of the ICCES meeting, the Nigeria Police Force, working with other security agencies has decided to enhance intelligence gathering, sharing and use of the same to prevent acts of political violence, increased deployment of security teams to all INEC assets and facilities across the country with teams drawn from the police, Nigerian Army, Department of State Services, Nigeria Civil and Security Defense Corps and the Federal Fire Service to take decisive legal action against purveyors of hate speech, incitement to violence, mobilization of thieves and other violations, including prompt arrest, investigation, and prosecution of offenders in accordance with provisions of Sections 92 and 93 of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended,” he said.
- Speaking about the need for the meeting he said “Qhis meeting became appropriate following a noticeable trend within the national political space which, if not addressed immediately, could become a strong threat not only to our national security but also to the electoral process.
- “Taken from the experiences of the past, electoral violence in the process leading to an election as well as the fallout of the election, always constitutes the most dangerous threat to our democracy.’
- ” Political violence comes in three forms. First is the violence targeting the personnel and properties of the Independent National Electoral Commission that was recently witnessed in Ogun and Osun states.
- “The second form of political violence can be seen in the form of inter-party intolerance and violence, which often becomes particularly pronounced during campaigns, elections, and post-election phases.
- “It is on record that no less than 52 cases of such politically motivated intra and inter-party violence have been recorded in 22 states since the official commencement of campaigns for the 2023 general elections on th -28 September 2022.
He disclosed that the police have received reports of state governors using thugs to disrupt the campaigns of rival political parties.
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- He said, “The last form of political violence is related to the behavior of some state governors who display attitudes of political intolerance, often exacerbating political tension. In this regard, we have received reports of some state governors encouraging thug politicians and sub-national security elements under their control to disrupt orderly and legally guaranteed campaign activities. of parties or candidates they hold against political views.
- “In doing so, they used their powers and influence to prevent the raising of campaign billboards or to pull them down, while also denying political opponents places to conduct their campaigns or peaceful congregations in politics contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 ( As amended).”
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