We’re coming for your thugs, NSA warns governors obstructing opposition campaign
From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (retd) has cautioned state governors who use thugs to stop opponents from putting up campaign signs in their territories that security agents will soon descend on them.
The NSA who was the 60th guest of the Ministerial Media Briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa Abuja on Thursday, said when the law enforcement agencies move, there will be no hiding place for the perpetrators.
Monguno attributed the conduct to an inferiority complex while responding to allegations that state governors were enacting laws to ban the presence of opposition campaign materials in their states.
He stated that President Muhammadu Buhari has made it plain that the 2023 election must be free, fair, and credible and advised the 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.”
Munguno said: “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. And you will be called on the carpet and you will answer questions. We have a lot of politicians and I’m not being specific about any politician or party. This virus has to be contained.
“I have given a clear warning that any politician who engages in any unpalatable activity, the use of thug and I know we have a lot of political thugs, straining at the leash, foaming at the mouth, desperate to bite and taste blood.
“But we’re going to apply everything within the powers of the government. And I’m not saying that we’re going to just operate in a manner that is not regulated. The government is not going to embark on anything that is uncontrolled, we will operate on the straight and narrow, confining ourselves to legality. That I can assure you, the President has given his directives. And we’re working on that.
“So those elements who think they can deny other people, the political air to breathe and reach out to the local community should have a rethink. And I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again, these political elements should call their thugs, their Capo regimes to order. They should have a nice, quiet fireside chat with them, and advise them that when the law enforcement agencies come there’ll be no hiding place.”
On the persistent attacks on INEC offices particularly after he had promised to deal decisively with the attackers, he reiterates the threat, with an assurance that ‘they will get there’.
On if he will be able to secure next year’s election he said: “I hope your question is not a trap but 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 behavior 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.
“That you want to destroy government property, property set up by taxpayers money? How dare you? Who the hell are you? In a normal society, this is not tolerated, and I believe we’re normal society, how can you just on your own, so please, let’s forget that one.”