Says 52 cases recorded in 22 states
INSPECTOR-GENERAL Alkali Usman yesterday blamed the rising wave of political violence on some governors. He did not name the governors.
The police boss alleged that some chief executives of the states have been fueling violence since the ban on campaigns was lifted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He spoke at a meeting with Chairmen of all the 18 registered political parties and heads of security operatives at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
The IG disclosed that 52 cases of such politically-motivated, intra and inter-party violence has been recorded across twenty-two (22) states since campaigns kicked-off on September 28.
He condemned the recent burning of INEC in Osun and Ogun states.
The IG said: “This meeting became expedient following a noticeable trend within the national political space; if not promptly addressed could evolve into a potent threat to not just our national security but the electoral process.
“Drawing from the experiences of the past, electoral violence both in the process leading to an election as well as the fall out of elections, has always constituted the most dangerous threat to our democracy.
“Political violence manifests in three forms. First is violence that is targeted at the personnel and assets of the INEC as recently witnessed in Ogun and Osun states.
“The second form of political violence manifests in the form of inter-party intolerance and violence which often become particularly pronounced during campaigns, elections, and post-elections phases. 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.”
“The last form of political violence relates to the conduct of some state governors who manifest traits of political intolerance which often inflame political tension. In this regard, 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)”.