By Lami Ibrahim
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba on Monday claimed that some political elites and some other unpatriotic individuals are planning to frustrate a civilian-to-civilian handover of power on May 29, 2023.
According to him, some politicians that the outcome of the 2023 elections did not favour are trying to frustrate the handover of power to the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu by issuing public threats that are directed at instigating actions.
The IGP, however, warned that the Police, as well as other security agencies, would not allow anything to scuttle the handover programme as May 29 is sacrosanct and democracy would be defended.
He also warned those planning to forment trouble to drop such plans and stay off the presidential inauguration because all security agencies are on the alert to prevent any trouble or disruption.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, IGP Baba said: “Following the successful conclusion of the 2023 General elections, it has been observed that some major political actors that the outcome did not favour, have been issuing public threats that are directed at instigating actions to frustrate the Presidential inauguration ceremony on 29th May, 2023.
“The Nigeria Police and the national intelligence community have been closely monitoring the activities of these political elites as well as other elements who have formed themselves into unpatriotic brands whose only fantasy, in recent times, is to subvert our national security interests.
“In so doing, they seem to be bent on deploying extra-judicial and undemocratic means to truncate our democratic heritage in advancement of their narrow personal political considerations.
“The beauty of democracy lies not just in the freedom of the citizens to freely exercise their franchise within the electoral cycle. It is also hinged on the right of aggrieved political actors to submit grievances on the electoral outcome to the judicial process for consideration.”
The IGP added that all political actors are under the watch of security agencies and particularly, those planning to scuttle the May 29 inauguration should take heed to the warnings that have been coming forth.
He warned that anyone who defies the warning should be ready to face the full wrath of the law as the Police and other securuty agencies are unrelenting in their resolve to defend democracy and ensure a hitch-free presidential inauguration on May 29, 2023.
In his words, “Ladies and gentlemen, the imperative of peace in our national life cannot be over-emphasized. Sustenance of peace and security is even more expedient at this stage in our national democratic transition.
“Consequently, while the Nigeria Police, in synergy with other security agencies and the intelligence community, continues to closely monitor the activities of these political elements, it has become expedient to make some clear statements.
“Firstly, the Nigeria Police hereby sternly warns all political actors with subversive agenda and their collaborators, particularly, their foot soldiers who they are exposing to political radicalization and extremism to, henceforth, jettison their on-going premeditated attempts to create tension within the national space with intention of derailing the 29th May 2023 Presidential Inauguration Ceremony.
“Secondly, any such persons, regardless of their political affiliations who continuously engages in acts that are inimical to our nation’s democratic and security interests should not be in doubt on the firm determination of the Nigeria Police;
“… under my watch to closely collaborate with the law enforcement family and the intelligence community to defend our democracy, keep the internal security order stable and optimally deploy our common unique assets towards guaranteeing the successful conduct of the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony.”