The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba has alleged some Governors are fuelling violence ahead of the 2023 polls.
He spoke in Abuja at a meeting with chairmen of all the 18 political parties and heads of security operatives.
The IGP, who did not mention the Governors involved in the act, stated that 52 cases of such politically-motivated, intra and inter-party violence have been recorded across 22 States since the official commencement of campaigns for the 2023 general elections on September 28.
He condemned the burning of offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices in Osun and Ogun States.
The police boss said: “We have been receiving reports of some State Governors who encourage political thugs and sub-national security outfits under their control to disrupt seamless and statutorily guaranteed campaign activities of parties or candidates with whom they hold opposing political views.
‘’In so doing, they deploy their powers and influences to either prevent the mounting of campaign bill boards or pull them down while also denying political opponents of spaces to undertake their campaigns or peaceful political congregations in contravention of the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 (As amended).
‘’Most of the recorded violent incidents or threats, he said often result from political extremism, misinformation, intolerance, wrong political orientation, hate speeches, incitement, and, most importantly, the desperation of strategic actors within the political field who often place their parochial political ambitions over and above national security interests and our nation’s stable democratic order.’’
He said if political thugs were armed with any sort of weapons and inspired by any political actor to advance an illegal act including attacking innocent citizens for political purpose or attacking INEC assets and personnel, or any other critical infrastructure in the country, such persons and those orchestrating them stand the risk of being brought to justice for the specific crime associated with their conducts regardless of their political affiliation, status or ambitions.