Ahead of the forthcoming general elections next year, the Executive Governor of Delta State and the presidential running mate of the Nigeria main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa have condemned what he regards as slow action and “mouthing” by the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba and subsequently charges him to take the bull by the horns in fighting electoral violence.
The aggrieved vice-presideential candidate, who spoke through his Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, at a meeting with political parties and other stakeholders in preparation for the 2023 general elections at the Nigeria Police Force Headquarter
He said: “We must say that we are disturbed about certain vibes coming from a number of states. Why are we disturbed? Is because a number if individuals are trying to hide under certain guise to strangulate the democratic space.
”Where you go and make certain laws to contract that freedom at a time like this that Nigerians need that freedom, the freedom that we need is much more important to us than any other time.
“So when you see states bringing in certain vibes to either make it difficult for people to be able to reach out to the electorate or make it difficult for people to visit their state and campaign, that cannot be in line with the principles of democracy.
“You saw what happened to PDP when we traveled to Kaduna, individuals came to the arena and started unleashing some form of terror to those who have come to listen to their preferred presidential candidate, they were chasing them away because they are afraid of the number of crowds that have come.
“In Kaduna you saw the number of individuals that were injured and vehicles destroyed. It is better we allow people no matter who they are to come campaign and go, then you can come and talk your own. It’s talk your own, I talk my own.
“So the IG needs to take it a step further beyond mouthing it, although we must commend him for what he did in Borno, when, of course, he tactically disagreed with the Borno State command, that not even investigated what happened and came out with a verdict that nothing happened, even when the cameras have shown the number of vehicles destroyed.
“We trust that this IG will be in a position to do the right thing. Don’t forget that he was here as a commissioner and while he was here, he also showed a lot of integrity.”