Political Intimidation and Thuggery Should Not Be Part of 2023 Electioneering

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By Jide Akintunde

(02 January 2022, Lagos) Yesterday, a leader of our movement – Moghalu4Nigeria – in Anyigba, Kogi State, simply identified as Lawrence, was walking down the road and he was accosted by a group of young men who demanded he should remove our branded face cap he was wearing. He refused to be intimidated and the thugs pounced on him.

Thankfully, Lawrence was able to run away from them before they could do him much harm. But he was hit with a few blows and his shirt was torn. The previous day, he had been accosted by a different set of young men who seem to be operatives of the same repressive, political bad actor in the town and was asked to stop hosting our cell meetings.

Political intimidation and thuggery are anti-democratic and criminal. We, therefore, call on all the relevant authorities responsible for civil order to take a stand against political intimidation ahead of the 2023 general election. They should work to stop any act that can undermine the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of association of Nigerians. Anyone who violates this and other freedoms of Nigerians, should be brought to book.

We also want to advise young Nigerians that they should eschew political thuggery. They should join en masse a political movement like ours organising to ensure that the country elect credible and competent leaders into offices in 2023. The youth should not allow themselves to be used as tools for political crimes during elections only to be dumped and consigned to poverty and unemployment by those manipulating them for their selfish interest.

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