The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, has warned Commissioners of Police (CPs) against following orders by state governors to stop opposition parties from engaging in political campaigns and usage of public facilities.
He gave the order yesterday in Abuja at an annual summit of political parties and stakeholders organised by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS) and the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) to brainstorm on how best to achieve successful polls in 2023.
Baba said the warning followed complaints by political parties that they were not getting sufficient space to make their campaigns.
The IGP, represented by the DIG Operations, Mustapha Dandaura, said, “Some governors have not laid solid foundation to give other political parties access to their campaign programmes. Some try to manipulate the campaigns, some sponsor touts to pursue their opposition and remove their billboards, posters and destroy their offices. We are aware and have full reports.
“Based on this, the IG has categorically directed all the CPs that on no account should any serving or sitting governor stop other political parties from conducting their campaigns in all the nooks and crannies of a state.
“They have been directed and warned to provide security to all the aspirants no matter where you are going, they will attach officers to you and you will move freely and come back.”
Delivering a keynote, a former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, said lack of social justice was responsible for internal crises in the two major political parties.
He urged INEC to subject the BVAS to third party evaluation to ensure it met standards and integrity for Nigerians to be at ease that the technology was not a secret only known to INEC.
By Abbas Jimoh & Balarabe Alkassim