Operatives of the Department of State Services have arrested two of the supporters of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) for allegedly inciting violence in Kano State.
The secret police has also deployed its crack detectives to other states of the federation to “track down any politician with the mindset of inciting violence ahead of March 18 gubernatorial and State Assembly elections”.
DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, who disclosed this Thursday morning, explained that the duo of Sharu Abubakar Tabula and Isma’il Iliyasu Mangu, were tracked down after the suspects had separately recorded inciting messages, which they shared through various social media channels.
Afunanya, who also shared the inciting video with Daily Trust, called on the concerned party to shelve it forthwith or be ready to face the consequences.
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He added, “In those potentially harmful messages, they specifically championed certain political interests and directly called on their supporters to violently attack those opposed to them, including security personnel during the 18th March, 2023 Governorship and House of Assembly election in the State.
“As a result of this development, a particular political party in Kano has threatened to organise protest march in the metropolis as well as storm offices of some of the security agencies on 16th March, 2023 in solidarity for the suspects.”
The DSS spokesman stressed that the secret police would not idly watch “misguided persons or groups undermine the peace and security of the state”.
He asked the leadership of the party to rein in its members and urge them to desist from conducts capable of causing a breakdown of law and order in Kano and its environs before, during and after the scheduled election.
“Aside Kano, the service recently arrested similar subversive elements that threatened violence in other States of the Federation. It would be recalled that it had on 8th March, 2023, enjoined politicians to engage constructively and shun violence, fake news and hate speech.”
He called on the political players to abide by the letters of the electoral Act and guidelines, adding that all and sundry are advised to positively contribute to the sustenance of peace and democracy in Nigeria.
There has been an unhealthy relationship between the NNPP and DSS since the wife of Yusuf Bichi, the Director-General of the service, clashed with Abba Gida, NNPP gubernatorial candidate, in the buildup to the general elections.
Trouble started after the motorcade of Yusuf allegedly delayed Mrs. Bichi’s convoy from gaining access into the VIP lounge of Malam Aminu Kano International Airport.
This, it was gathered, prompted her security details to step into the situation to clear the path, which in the process led to an altercation between the security details and aides of the gubernatorial candidate.
“The situation escalated after she told Abba that they will not board the same flight as earlier scheduled, and she spotted one of his aides, Garba Kilo, filming,” the source said.
Kilo, who was said to have been beaten up on the orders of Mrs. Bichi, was reportedly taken to the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital for treatment.
Shortly before the presidential poll, an office of the party was raided in Kano. While the party accused the secret police of vendetta, DSS displayed some weapons recovered during the raid on the NNPP camapaign office.
There is tension in Kano ahead of Saturday’s elections.