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2023 : IGP Warns Politicians Against Violent Campaigns

Inspector-general of police (IGP) Usman Baba has cautioned politicians to play the game by the rules ahead of the general elections in 2023 and avoid violent clashes during electioneering.

He gave the charge yesterday during the weekly ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Last Wednesday, supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, were injured when hoodlums attacked his convoy in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

According to IGP, the state police spokesperson may have reached a conclusion too quickly in his assessment, adding that a team would be set up to investigate the matter.

He said, “On how realistic it is in stopping the issue of violence in our political agenda either in rallies or campaigns. Well, it takes two to tango. There are laid down means, ways, procedures to do rallies and campaigns.

“On our part, we have gone out to appeal to politicians to play the game by the rules. And at the same time allow us to regulate political processions, campaigns and rallies, to avoid clashes and so forth.”

The IGP also said the alleged abuse of power by local security outfit Ebubeagu in Ebonyi state and others in oppressing opposition, is being checkmated.

“I think I have even made announcements earlier than even their letter. On the day of the signing of the peace accord, I observed that we have not less than 64 Security outfits that have been created by different state governors with names for different purposes. “

But most importantly, the crime prevention and space are so wide, that we are encouraging everybody to come in. And that is why we said policing is something that requires the contribution of everybody.

“So, while these outfits have been created to checkmate crime and criminality, we have also told them that they are not to be used for politicking or to be used for political reasons,” he added.

The police boss acknowledged that some aspects of police duties have been commercialized to generate more revenue through the Police Specialized Automated Services (POSSAB) portal but the service has been abused.

He, however, threw out the idea that unscrupulous persons can use the portal to gain protection from the police.

The IGP said he was against the withdrawal from security personnel being attached to VIPs, saying some of them might be exposed to dangers

He said, “On the issue of security personnel being attached to VIPs to be withdrawn. For every rule there are exemptions, these people need to be protected but we try to do it with all sense of humility. VIPs need to be protected because some people are really, if left unattended to can be easy target and we will make too much noise,” he said,

On the security situation in Abuja, the IGP said the federal government did not dismiss the alarm raised by the US government asking their citizens to leave the country.

He said, “Nobody has dismissed it as just an alarm. Government has never dismissed it as alarm but we only said it was blown or made in such a way that our people became apprehensive to the situation or to the way it was done.

“The embassies have their own responsibilities to their citizens and they can make their advice and the government has not dismissed what has happened because they have also informed us of what they foresee as threats.

“And we on our parts have also looked at what they put as threat as something that has been with us and efforts are being made daily to see that those threats are mitigated or prevented from happening and that is what has been happening in Abuja and all over the country,” he said.

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