The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba has accused some state governors of allegedly sponsoring violence ahead of the 2023 General Elections. He made this known during an interactive session with leaders of all18 political parties, heads of security agencies, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and other stakeholders at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
The IGP said, “Political violence manifests in 3 forms. First is violence that is targeted at the personnel and assets of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as recently witnessed in Ogun and Osun States.
“The second form of political violence manifests in form of inter-party intolerance and violence which often become particularly pronounced during campaigns, elections, and post-election phases.
“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 influence 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).”
The IGP stated that since the commencement of campaigns for the 2023 elections, about 52 cases of political violence have so far been recorded.
He further said that in a bid to combat all types of political violence ahead of the upcoming elections, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has put in place measures such as increased intelligence gathering, deployment of security teams to all INEC facilities nationwide, amongst other measures.