The Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, on Saturday ordered a crackdown on political thuggery by the police following instances of attacks by some party supporters against their opponents.
Mr. Abba ordered Zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) and Command Commissioners of Police (CPs) to investigate all political acts that contravened the law.
Emmanuel Ojukwu, the Force Public Relations Officer, spoke on behalf of Mr. Abba at a news conference.
He expressed concern that in spite of warnings, politicians and their supporters still engaged in violent acts to further their political interests.
Mr. Abba warned that henceforth anyone caught in such acts would not be spared no matter how highly placed they might be in the society.
“There have been reports of untoward activities in political campaigns and meetings.
“It is particularly worrisome that of recent, thugs and miscreants have been employed by some political parties to disrupt political campaigns of their opponents.
“In some instances, stones and missiles have been hauled at the nation’s highly respected citizens and leaders.
“Abusive and demeaning words, and in some instances, offensive vituperations bordering on the macabre have been hauled at opponents.
“We have received disturbing reports of the pulling down and defacing of campaign posters”, Mr. Abba said.
He said that such conduct did not speak well of those aspiring to lead the nation.
“Such acts contravene Section 227 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and sections 94 and 94 of the Electoral Act.
“Besides, they grossly negate sections 5 to 8 of the Public Order Act and Article 3 of the Political Parties Code of Conduct agreed to and adopted by all political parties”, he said.
Mr. Abba said that it was counter-productive on the part of politicians to attempt to kill those they wanted to lead, adding that it was wrong for them to use force.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the police will apply the full weight of the law on any political actor, sponsor, associate or foot-soldier who resorts to hate speech or violence.
“The unity, peace and orderly progress of this nation cannot be mortgaged to suite or oil the ambitions of a few.
“Let it be restated that the law is not a respecter of persons”, Mr. Abba said.