Abuja – Nigeria: The Inspector- General of Police, Usman Baba, has revealed that the police gathered that the Oduduwa Nation Agitators have been amassing weapons and mobilising resources in order to disrupt the peace, security, and electoral process in the South-West geo-political zone ahead of the general elections scheduled to begin on February 25 across the country.
The IGP revealed this while speaking at a strategic meeting he held with Command Police Commissioners, Zonal AIGs and Deputy Inspector’s General of Police on Monday in Abuja.
He said, “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. Also, kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism, and thuggery some of which have political undertones or consequences constitute major security threats to our democracy.
“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 Federal Government infrastructures, all in an effort to disrupt the 2023 General Elections in the South East geopolitical zone.
“Other crimes of national security importance which could undermine our efforts towards entrenching a peaceful electioneering process, if not adequately curtailed include Banditry/Terrorism which has ravaged many communities in the North-west and North-Central with adverse effects on the economic and social wellbeing of the residents.
“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 South West geo-political zone.”
He added, “Despite the foregoing, the Nigeria Police Force has the responsibility to stabilize 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.
“Beyond these mandates, under the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended), the Nigeria Police is primarily responsible for securing the public space and the territorial integrity of the country before, during and after the elections and this remains sacrosanct. This includes working with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other intelligence and security agencies in the country, including both local and foreign observers, towards delivering a peaceful, free, fair and credible election.
“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.