The Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Usman Baba has raised of alarm of separatist groups and failed politicians working to disrupt 2023 general election.
Appearing before the house of representatives ad hoc committee investigating attacks on the facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday, December 16, the IGP who was represented by Dandaura Mustapha, Deputy Inspector-General in charge of operations, noted that attacks on INEC offices increased after the ban on political campaigns was lifted.
“The Nigeria police, being the lead agency in internal security and elections generally, is always at the receiving end. Whatever happens, the police must protect here and there.
“When INEC finally lifted the ban on campaigns, the campaigns commenced, and what we realised initially was inter and intra-party disputes.
“We realised that members of political parties were destroying billboards, posters, campaign offices in some parts of the states. We quickly alerted the commissioners of police in charge of the commands and gave them clear directives that it is the right of every political party to go to all the nooks and crannies of society and campaign.
“It is a constitutional right, so on no account should a state governor or any state actor prevent political parties from moving about to do their campaigns.
“We now come to the immediate attack on INEC facilities. Of recent are the ones that took place in Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Imo, and Enugu.
“What we discovered is that — we all know in this country; it is a well-known fact that in the south-east geo-political zone, we have issues of secessionists, the IPOB and ESN — these groups are bent on stopping elections from taking place in the south-east.
“They have been attacking our personnel; they have been killing our personnel. They have been retrieving arms from members of the security agencies, not only the police — the military and other paramilitary organisations that are there.