Police Cautions Against Use of Violent Groups in Political Campaigns
By Eme Offiong, Calabar
The Nigeria Police has cautioned political actors against utilising violent groups in their campaigns and throughout the duration of the electoral process.
In a statememt, the Police Commissioner in Cross River State, south-south Nigeria, Mr. Aminu Alhassan issued the warning in Calabar, the state capital sequel to the ban on the use of local and private security outfits for political campaigns.
Alhassan indicated that the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba has directed the Cross River State Command to take measures to assure law abiding citizens of their safety.
According to the statement, “the political culture of Cross River State has been devoid of violence and the Nigeria Police Force is committed to sustain this culture. It is necessary to warn all none state actors to keep away from forming quasi security units to heat up the political activities in the state.
“As political contest is a civilized process for electing leaders and not a contest for brigandage. The Nigeria Police Force Cross River State Command is calling on the political class to eschew involvement of cultists and violent groups in the campaign and the electoral process,” it further indicated.
It noted that the command would deal decisively with any individual or group that inducts violence as a means to further their advantage.
The Police Commissioner appealed to political parties, groups and all others participating in the electoral process to be civil and avoid violent acts that would mar the reputation of Cross River as the most peaceful State in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the command has condemned the reports of malicious destruction of campaign billboards and posters across the state by some political thugs.
The Commissioner described the action as “uncivilized acts that can plunged the state into major political crisis,” and urged security agencies to address the challenges before such goes out of proportion.
He indicated, “as a peace loving state, the police command will not rest in its efforts to ensure that the status is sustained and will not condoned any activity that will be capable of truncating the peace being enjoyed by good people of the state as well as its residents.”
The statement was signed by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Irene Ugbo.