Inspector General of Police Usman Baba Alkali

Police warn governors against frustrating opposition parties’ campaign

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The police have cautioned governors against stopping opposition political parties from holding their electioneering campaigns in their state.

DIG Dandaura Mustapha said this at the 2022 political parties summit in Abuja.

Mr Mustapha, who represented IGP Usman Alkali-Baba, said police commissioners were directed to ensure that all political parties were given free space to campaign in states.

He said the police received several complaints about attacks on political parties in states during campaigns.

The DIG noted that some governors deserved commendations for demonstrating political tolerance, while others deserved condemnation for their attitudes.

“Unfortunately, some of the governors are not helping matters. They have not laid the foundation to give other political parties access to their campaign avenues. Some try to manipulate the campaigns,” explained Mr Mustapha. “Some even sponsor thugs to pursue the opposition, remove their billboards, remove their posters and destroy their offices. We are aware, and we have full reports.”

The DIG added, “Based on this, the IG has categorically directed all commissioners of police that on no account should any serving or sitting governor stop other political parties from conducting their campaigns in the nooks and crannies of their states.”

He advised political parties to go about their campaigns freely while assuring them of adequate security.

EFCC chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa said the commission was working with INEC and other security agencies to curb vote-buying and ensure that political parties comply with campaign spending limits set by the Electoral Act.

“No matter the robustness of the EFCC strategy to check the inducement of voters, its effectiveness depends entirely on the preparedness of members of the political class to play by the rule,” stated Mr Bawa. “Our commitment to free, fair elections should not be seasonal when we lose elections. Rather, it should be an article of faith, standard behaviour by all political actors.”

IPAC chair Yabagi Sani urged political actors to shun violence and pursue issue-based campaigns as they prepare for the 2023 general elections.

Mr Sani said the summit aimed to provide an avenue for political parties and stakeholders to commit themselves to a free, fair and credible election in 2023.

(NAN)


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