2023: FG warns govs using thugs to attack oppositions 

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The Federal Government yesterday warned governors using thugs and other methods to prevent opposition from executing political campaigns in their states to desist. 

The government said its security agencies have been deployed to end such intolerance. 

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.), gave the warning during the weekly Ministerial Briefing, organised by the Presidential Communication Team at the Villa in Abuja. 

The NSA, who listed the programmes and achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in the Security sector, was reacting to the attacks by some governors on the campaign structures of opposition politicians within their domains. 

Monguno said the trend was a manifestation of an inferiority complex among those he said were guilty of the offence. 

He warned the governors to “call their Capo regime to order because when we move, there will be no hiding place”. 

Commenting on why some governors did not allow opposition parties to campaign in their states and even pulled down their campaign posters, Monguno said: “Well, it’s not something that is new to us. It’s been like that, going all the way back to 1999. And if you want, you can say 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 (INEC) about a week ago and we emphasised the need for everybody to operate on a level-playing field. 

“One thing I can assure you is that the President has given clear directives: the people’s will must prevail. What happened in Anambra has shown an acuity. It is what we want to happen all over the country,” he said. 

“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. It is not even a function of numbers or function of money. It’s a big problem; it’s a problem that’s also linked with a complex. This is 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 answer questions. 

“We have a lot of politicians and I’m not being specific about any politician or party. 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 thugs, and I know we have a lot of thugs, political thugs straining at the leash, foaming at the mouth, desperate to bite, to spill blood – the government will act. 

“But we’re going to apply everything within the powers of the government. I’m not saying that we’re going to just operate in a manner that is not regulated, because the government is not going to embark on anything that is uncontrolled. 

“We will operate on the straight and narrow, confining ourselves to legality. On that, I can assure you the President has given his 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 breathe, and reach out to the local community, should have another think. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again: these political elements should call the thugs, their ‘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. 

 

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