From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
National Security Adviser (NSA), Major Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd) has warned governors who use thugs to stop political opponents from campaigning in their states that security agents will soon descend on them.
The NSA who was guest at the ministerial media briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa Abuja, yesterday, said when law enforcement agencies step in, there will be no hiding place for those who unleash violence on opponents.
He was responding to allegations that state governors were enacting laws to ban the presence of opposition campaign materials in their states.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari had stated plainly that the 2023 election must be free, fair, and credible and advised governors to control their thugs.
The NSA warned the governors to “call their Capo regime to order because when we move, there will be no hiding place.
“One thing I can assure you is, the President has given clear directives. The people’s will, must prevail. What happened in Anambra or Osun and Ekiti is what we want to happen all over the country. Let the people choose their leader, whoever they want; then later they can decide.
“But in the process of electing who governs them, we must be mindful of the fact that there are people who are hell bent on forcing on bullying and cornering their opponents. It’s not even a function of numbers or a function of money. It’s a big problem. It’s a problem that’s also linked with complex. Because if you are really who you are, you don’t need to hire thugs. If you cannot restrain your thugs, the government will do that for you.”
On if security agencies would be able to secure next year’s election, the NSA said: “…The elections will take place, we have said that. By the grace of Almighty they will take place in an atmosphere bereft of intimidation and violence, we’ll try as much as possible to maintain that.
“For those people who’ve been going around burning offices, killing people I have already said it, the security agencies have been given that instruction. Visit them with all you have and let them understand that there are consequences for bad behaviour that we are determined. Everybody’s a Nigerian, everybody’s free to do whatever he wants to do, but don’t cross the line and move into another person’s territory.”