The Kogi State Police Command has warned politicians to desist from using their supporters as thugs as the Police authority would not hesitate to deal decisively with anyone fomenting trouble during and after the election in the state no matter how highly placed.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Emmanuel Ojukwu, made this call while parading some suspected political thugs, and others arrested for other criminal offences.
He also warned those in possession of arms and ammunition to surrender to the Police before they are caught.
The 23 suspects being paraded were arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in different locations of the state.
While some of the suspects were arrested for robbery, some were arrested for illegal possession of fire arms, and kidnapping.
Eight of the men were arrested for attempting to destroy a campaign rally at Ofu Local Government Area in the state.
While showing pressmen round items recovered from some of them, Mr Emmanuel Ojukwu warned politicians in the state to caution their followers, as the Police remained determined to weed criminal elements out of Kogi State.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, says elections in the State were smooth.
Giving his opinion about the governorship and House of Assembly elections in Sokoto State, Mr Tambuwal described the process as an improvement on the Presidential and National Assembly elections held on March 28.
Mr Tambuwal gave his opinion at Kofar Ajiya ward, in Tambuwal Local Government Area.
Elections took place in over 3,000 polling units across the state, but there were some recorded cases of election fraud, with a young man arrested with ballot papers in Sanyan ward.
There was also another case where elections in two polling units were cancelled, as political thugs disrupted the process.
In Rabah Local Government Area, there were two cases of ballot boxes snatching.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Sadiq Musa observed that results from the 23 Local Government Areas in the state are expected from midnight, while the final result is expected to be announced on Sunday afternoon.
Borno state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has called for the arrest and prosecution of the leadership of the Borno State chapter of Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), demanding for an Interim Government in Borno State.
The state chairman of the APC, Ali Bukar Dalori said in a statement issued on Thursday, that “the 23 parties were acting the script of a former Governor of the state who is desperate to takeover power at all cost, even if it means sending the state into extinction.
“We strongly believe that the call by the 23 parties for elections in Borno to be shifted till September, 2015 and for Interim Government be put in place by May 29, 2015, is in furtherance of a blind desire to implement an agenda of a PDP that is aligned to an Ex-Governor of Borno, who is hell bent on ensuring elections do not hold in Borno State by hook or crook, due to his fear of massive defeat for his anointed candidates, given the evident popularity of the APC in the state.
“However, we are also excited by their calls for postponement because in politics, calls for postponement of election is conceding defeat because only those who see defeat coming their way, try to avoid elections,” he noted in the statement.
The demand came after the Borno State chapter of Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to “postpone and extend” the forthcoming general elections to September 26, 2015 in the state, because of “seven unresolved issues and insecurity that would no doubt affect free, fair and credible elections in the state”.
The shift, according to IPAC would enable INEC resolve the problems related to distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), personal insecurity of opposition party officials, smart card readers, vandalisation of party facilities, indecent activities of Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), as well as persistent activities of thugs in Maiduguri Metropolis.
Addressing a news conference at its Baga Road secretariat complex, Chairman of IPAC, Comrade Babagana K. Musa, expressed fear that because of the seven unresolved election issues in the state, the National Assembly has to pass a resolution for INEC to shift the polls in the state by six months.
“Let me be very clear on these unresolved issues in our dear state before all of you here today. As I have listed the critical and serious problems on conducting elections in Borno, things are not well at all.
“The environment, particularly the activities of political thugs and some members of CJTF in Maiduguri, are however not conducive for INEC to conduct elections on March 28, and April 11, 2015 without shifting it by six months.”, Musa said.
The shift, according to him would enable the listed problems to be amicably resolved by INEC and security agencies without resorting to massive “violence and intimidations” that may cause the loss of many lives and property in the state.
On the six-month extension of polls, Musa said; “The National Assembly will set in motion for a resolution to constitute a ‘Government of State Unity’ on May 29, 2015; and at the expiration of the incumbent administration, the good people of Borno will have a sense of belonging.
“We are also calling on the Chiefs of security agencies in the state; to ensure within the six-month election extension period, a safe and conducive environment for all political parties to thrive and fully participate in the elections, slated for September 26, 2015,” Musa said.
The Police have arrested five persons in Kano, north-west Nigeria, suspected to have stolen over 1,000 Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) out of which 300 have been recovered.
Addressing reporters on Wednesday, the Kano State Commissioner of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, paraded 23 thugs suspected to have orchestrated the political clash in Dawakin Kudu Local Government Area of Kano State.
Mr Idris also said a female was among the 23 suspects arrested after the political clash, which left one person dead.
He warned politicians who sponsor thuggery to realise that if caught, sanctions would be meted out on both the thugs and their sponsors.
He added that the newly established Inter-agency Security Consultative Forum, has agreed that, henceforth, sponsorship of political thuggery would not be tolerated and would be dealt with in the court of law.
Suspected APC thugs allegedly attacked the campaign train of the incumbent Governor and PDP governorship candidate in Kaduna State. Mukhtar Yero on Monday.
The rivalry between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and All Progressives Congress took a dangerous dimension leaving 33 PDP members injured.
According to the victims, the wrangle occurred as some of the vehicles conveying the PDP supporters to Rigasa community in Kaduna South and Bakin Ruwa in Igabi Local Government Area for a campaign rally were attacked by suspected APC thugs.
The thugs, who were carrying dangerous weapons, also vandalized about 25 vehicles belonging to the PDP campaign organization.
The incident came up scarcely three weeks after candidates and leaders of the two political parties agreed to conduct violence free campaigns.
The latest attack on PDP supporters allegedly by APC thugs had sadly made mockery of the peace accord reached by all the political parties in the presence of the State Commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu.
Last week, four people were reportedly killed by political thugs in Badiko and Rigasa areas over political differences.
Governor Yero who was visibly emotional when he visited the injured persons where they were being treated at the Government House Clinic, stated that the thugs were apparently hired by the opposition party to attack his convoy with the sole aim of throwing the state into confusion.
The Governor, while reiterating his commitment to peaceful electoral process, warned that Government would no longer fold its arms and continue to watch some group of miscreants intimidate and harass majority of the people with impunity.
The Governor and the Kaduna PDP Chairman, Abubakar Haruna, while condemning the attack, called on the APC governorship candidate, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, and leaders of the party to call their members to order and respect people’s rights to belong to political parties of their choice.
Some of the victims including a pregnant woman narrated how they were humiliated by some APC thugs just because they were supporting a PDP candidate.
However, the APC and El-Rufai Campaign Organization have denied that their members attacked PDP supporters.
Instead, they said that it was the State Governor who led thugs to destroy billboards of General Muhammadu Buhari and Nasir El-Rufai in Barkin Ruwa and Kabala West Junction in the state capital.
A statement issued by the Spokesman for El-Rufai Campaign Organization, Mr Samuel Aruwan, read; “PDP thugs are the ones that attacked and beat up APC members in the presence of Governor Yero.”
He exonerated his principal, Mallam El-rufai and APC members from the attacks, saying that those who carried out the attack were not their
Although some people have been arrested in connection with the latest attack, the Commissioner of Police has warned all the parties to play the game according to the rules.
He said that the command would not spare anyone or group found to be unleashing terror on innocent citizens all in the name of campaign.
“Democracy, defined as government of the people, by the people and for the people, is also expected to be participatory and obligatory.
“With few days to the polls, political parties are expected not to over heat the polity with their campaigns, but to allow the citizenry to freely make their choices and support a political party or candidates of their choices.
“This will reduce election violence as being witness in some parts of the country,” CP Umar said.
The Deputy Director, Public Relations, Department of State Service (DSS), Marilyn Ogar, says the job of the DSS is to detect and prevent any threat to the internal security of Nigeria and should not be dragged into the intrigues of rivalry by politicians.
She made this statement while appearing on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, to discuss the series of controversies that have trailed the governorship election in Osun State.
There had been allegations that the DSS operatives on duty during the Osun election showed some excesses in the discharge of their duties, an allegation she was bent on debunking. According to her, while she could understand a political party being bad losers, the Osun matter only meant that bad winners also existed.
She stated that the DSS had not done anything unusual in Osun State, explaining that as a fall-out of the Ekiti election, security reports had revealed that political parties, particularly the PDP and the APC had vowed to outdo each other in the Osun State election and based on security reports, the security agencies “had to deploy adequately to be able to forestall any threat or anything that will pose contrary to free and fair election in Osun State.”
She recalled that the DSS had provided similar security in Edo, Ondo, Anambra, and Ekiti states, but there were only issues in states where the APC lost – Anambra, Ondo and Ekiti states. She, however, wondered why there were still issues in Osun State despite the APC having won the election.
Reacting to a Channels Television interview with the APC Spokesman, Lai Mohammed, which threw up a number of issues, including allegations that the DSS was working against the APC, Ms Ogar presented and read a letter supposedly written by the Governor of the State of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, addressed to the Director-General of the Department of State Service, requesting for security in the state ahead of the election.
Ms Ogar said, “With or without this letter, it is our statutory responsibility to participate or provide security for all elections in Nigeria.” She added that apart from their own security reports which necessitated the deployment of men, they were backed by their primary responsibility.
Lai Mohammed had also alleged that the men of the SSS drove into Osogbo, the state capital, in 50 trucks conveying masked personnel, who were shooting into the air to scare citizens of the state.
She explained that the so-called masks were the regular hoods worn by the SSS operatives who go on special operation. Likening them to the SWAT of the American FBI, she said that the DSS also has the STAT and wearing of the hood was supposed to prevent eye contact and recognition that could cause compromise in the discharge of their duties, noting that these were men who also carry out other regular assignments.
Ms Ogar explained further that the trucks mentioned by Mr Lai Mohammed had four men each and with a target of deploying two trucks to each of the 30 Local Government Areas in Osun State, it was rational to have such number of men if the state was to be adequately covered.
She also alleged that there had been security reports that the APC had vowed to ensure that the PDP did not win the election in Osun State. The DSS, according to her, had profiled all the thugs in the state and they were arrested with short guns, charms and other weapons, indicating that there were indeed plans to hijack the process, adding that this was not from just one particular party.
On the allegations that the DSS men shot into the air while driving into the state capital, Ms Ogar said that the allegation might not be true as it could be an attempt by the APC Spokesman to drive home a point.
Asked if the DSS partakes in Show of Force, she affirmed that indeed, the era of insurgency in the country and the Service’s fight against terrorism had necessitated the show of force by the DSS when required.
Alleged 14million Naira Offer
It has been reported that the DSS Deputy Director, Public Relations, Marilyn Ogar, had alleged that a political party offered the Security Service a bribe, leading to the Osun election, and she was asked to name the persons involved, so that they could be prosecuted.
She said that prior to the election, an APC member had invited the DSS Director, who was coordinating the election “to come collect 4million Naira for self and another 10million for the same masked people.
“It was an offer and she said no that she didn’t think it was necessary because when it has to do with logistics, as far as the Service is concerned, they would definitely have en-placed everything that would make for a successful operation.
“The rejection of that money on Tuesday brought on a lot of things that ordinarily we had not seen before anywhere.”
On the demand for the identity and prosecution of the persons involved, she said, “The duty of the SSS is to detect, prevent and deter” and using the President’s carrot and stick analogy, “It is not every time that you go out arresting people.”
She said further, “If this same process has been turned down when it had to do with other political parties, and they never took offense, why is it that the APC is taking offense? For me, its like pre-empting and presuming that ‘maybe this people are going to go to town with this stuff so we must be able to cow them to a point where they would be unable to expose what we were trying to do’.
“The person that made the offer knows himself and he knows that we know him.” She insisted that security agencies should not be dragged into politics.
She also clarified the issue surrounding the 14million Naira offer and being referred to as “bribe”.
“I’m sure the people that were doing the offering didn’t see it as a bribe, and I had never mentioned the word bribe. The media has used the word bribe in order to make it sensational.
“I could make you an offer and say this would assist you in what you are doing. Its either you take it or you refuse.
“I did say here that they offered us money to assist us and we said no.”
She added that if indeed the DSS was not accommodating to all parties involved in the election, “the Executive Governor of Osun State wouldn’t have written inviting us to come.”