December 2, 2022

POLITICAL VIOLENCE: Rein in your thugs, NSA tells govs

Babagana Monguno,

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

AHEAD of the 2023 general elections, the National Security Adviser, NSA, Major General Babagana Monguno, retd, yesterday, warned state governors using thugs to prevent opposition parties from mounting campaign materials in their domains that security agencies would soon descend on them.

Across the country, gathering of some opposition parties had been attacked by miscreants said to be working for the state governments. Some bill boards and campaign materials have also been destroyed. The woman leader of the Labour Party, LP, in Southern Kaduna, Mrs Victoria Chintex, was shot and killed in her home by suspected assassins, two days ago.

The NSA gave the warning when he appeared on the Ministerial Media Briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja

He also said that the security agencies have been given instructions to give those burning government facilities like the offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the treatment they deserve.

 The NSA said when the law enforcement agencies move, there will be no hiding place for the perpetrators.

Monguno, who was reacting to reports of state governors implementing policies that prevent the presence of opposition campaign materials in their states, blamed the action on what he called inferiority complex.

He further said that politicians hiring thugs do not believe in themselves, warning that any person that engages in any unpalatable activity would be dealt with.

While cautioning the governors to restrain their thugs, he said that President Muhammadu Buhari has given clear directives that the 2023 election must be free, fair and credible.

The NSA warned the governors to “call their Capo regime to order because when we move, there will be no hiding place.”

Fielding question on why state governors are not allowing opposition political parties to campaign in their states and even pull down their campaign posters, the NSA said: “It’s not something that is new to us, it’s been like that going all the way back to 1999. And if you want, you can see it going all the way back even to the Second Republic, probably the First Republic.

 “We had a press briefing with the chairman of the INEC about a week ago, and we emphasized the need for everybody to operate on a level playing field.

“One thing I can assure you is the President has given clear directives; the people’s will must prevail. What happened in Anambra is what we want to happen all over the country. Let the people choose their leader. We must be mindful of the fact that there are people who are hell bent on forcing or bullying and cornering their opponents.

“It’s a big problem. It’s a problem that’s also linked with a complex 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 call on the cabinet and 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 gave a clear warning during the press conference that any politician who engages in any unpalatable activity- the use of thugs and I know we have a lot of thugs, political thugs, desperate to bay for blood; we’re going to apply everything within the powers of the government and legal.

 “So, those elements, who think they can deny other people the air to breathe, the political air to breathe, and reach out to the local community, they have another thing coming. These political elements should call the thugs, their capo regimes to order.