By Bukola Olasanmi
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, is currently in a closed-door meeting with leaders of all 18 political parties in the country concerning election security, and to address electoral violence towards the 2023 general election.
The meeting, currently being held at the IGP Conference Hall, Force Headquarters, Abuja, was convened over the recent attacks on the offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission, and other politically motivated violence happening in the country.
Our correspondent gathered that the chairman and presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, Omoyele Sowore, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, the National Organising Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Suleiman Argungu, amongst others, represented their political parties at the ongoing meeting.
Also in attendance include the National Commissioner of INEC, Barrister May Agbamuche-Mbo, the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmad Rufai, some representatives of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Nigerian secret services, and paramilitary agencies.
Speaking in the presence of journalists before the meeting went into closed-door, Baba said the meeting became expedient following a trend within the national political space which, if not promptly addressed could evolve into a potent threat to not just the country’s national security, but the electoral process.
He said, “Political violence manifest in three forms. First is violence that is targeted at the personnel and assets of INEC as recently witnessed in Ogun and Osun States.
“The second form of political violence manifests in form of inter-party intolerance and violence which often becomes particularly pronounced during campaigns, elections and post-elections phases.
“It is on record that not less than 52 cases of such politically motivated intra and inter-party violence have been recorded across 22 states since the official commencement of campaigns for the 2023 general elections on September 28, 2022.”