…Says burning INEC facilities unacceptable
The National Security Adviser (NSA) Major-General Babagana Monguno (retired) Thursday warned governors to desist from preventing opposition parties from mounting campaign materials for the 2023 general elections in their states.
The NSA, who gave the warning at the weekly briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, said obstructing opposition by the governors is an inferiority complex.
He said when the law enforcement agencies move, there would be no hiding place for the perpetrators political violence.
He further said politicians hiring thugs do not believe in themselves, warning thar any person that engages in any unpalatable activity would be dealt with.
While cautioning the governors to restrain their thugs, the NSA said President Muhammadu Buhari has given clear directives that the 2023 election must be free, fair and credible.
“Well, it’s not something that new to us, it’s been like that going all the way back to 1999. And if you want, you can see going all the way back even to the Second Republic, probably the first republic.
“We had a press briefing with the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission Election Commission 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 are shown an acuity is what we want to happen all over the country. Let the people choose their leader, whoever they want, then later they can decide but in the process of selecting who governs them. We must be mindful of the fact that there are people who are hell bent on forcing or bullying and cornering their opponents is not even a function of you know, numbers or function of money.
“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 you will answer questions.
“We have a lot of politicians and I’m not being specific about any politician or part this virus has to be contained. I have given a clear warning during the press conference that any politician who engages in any activity and unpalatable activity, the use of tags and I know we have a lot of thugs, political thugs, straining at the leash foaming at the mouth, desperate to buy blood.
“But we’re going to apply everything within the powers of the government. And I’m not saying that we’re going to just operate in a manner that is not regulated by the government is not going to embark on anything that is you know, uncontrolled, we will operate on the straight and narrow confining ourselves to legality that I can assure you the President’s illness directives. And we’re working on that.
“So, those elements who think they can deny other people the air to breathe the political air to to breathe and reach out to the local community. So they have another thing and I’ve said it before, and I’m seeing it again.
“These political elements should call the thugs that capo regimes to order. They should have a nice quiet fireside chat with them, and advise them that when the law enforcement agencies come they’ll be dealt with,” he said.
The NSA said the persistent burning of facilities belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is unacceptable.
He said security agencies have been given instructions to give those burning NEC facilities the treatment they deserve.