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Ahead of the 2023 general elections scheduled to kick off on February 25 across the country, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, yesterday, disclosed that the police have intelligence Oduduwa Nation agitators have been amassing weapons and mobilising resources towards disrupting the peace, security and electoral process in the Southwest geo-political zone.
Baba made the revelation while addressing Commissioners of Police (CPs) and Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs) for the first time this year regarding the elections.
According to him, “other major crimes are the growing activities of the Oduduwa Nation agitators, who from intelligence sources, have been attempting to amass weapons and mobilise other resources towards disrupting the peace, security and electoral process in the Southwest.
“Furthermore, illegal Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) trafficking are being utilised to advance political violence, political extremism and intolerance, while cyber-bullying for political ends is on the rise daily.
“Similarly, violent secessionist campaigns by IPOB/ESN members, which have been targeted at various symbols of democratic governance, including INEC assets, police stations and personnel, as well as other security agencies and government infrastructures, all in an effort to disrupt the elections in the Southeast geopolitical zone.
“Despite the foregoing, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has the responsibility to stabilise the internal security order within the country before, during and after the elections. Consequently, I am reiterating that you ensure no political actor or miscreant is able to subdue any part of the civil space under your command.”
The police boss tasked the strategic police managers to safeguard the public space for elections in active synergy with other security agencies.
While charging them to make certain that quasi-security outfits created and owned by state governments are precluded from election duties, he stressed that national security interest overrides personal interest and as such, in line with directives of Mr. President, the election shall be policed in a civil manner with full compliance with the rule of law.
“Further to this, you are to preclude the activities of quasi-security agents, who may be employed by politicians, from participating in the electoral process. Likewise, ensure that you closely monitor the illicit activities of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), ‘Amotekun’, ‘Ebube-Agu’ and Hunter’s Association and other state-owned security outfits with a view to checkmating their activities within your jurisdictions.”