P/Harcourt – With barely five days to the February 16 presidential elections, there is an overwhelming fear of possible election violence due to the proliferations of fire arms and ammunition currently being stockpiled across the country by power-hungry politicians.
Raising the alarm weekend, Dr. Osita Okereke, the director general of the national task force against importation of small arms and light weapons and vandalization of oil pipelines, NATFORCE, expressed fear that except the security operatives were at their best, the possibility of having a violence-free elections would be very slim.
Okereke insisted that politicians have stockpiled weapons in virtually all the 774 local government areas in the country in preparations for the elections, adding that nobody will want to invest money in an expensive venture and does not get something out of it. “That is why politicians in this country see politics as a do or die affair. It is not supposed to be so”.
He alleged that desperate politicians have sown Army, police and other security outfits uniforms to be given to their thugs just to hoodwink the security operatives on duty during the election. “Some of the thugs will enter into collation centres wearing security uniforms and nobody will take cognizance of the fact that they are thugs”.
According to him, “Governors of some states have spent so much money buying security uniforms and weapons for their thugs to use on Election Day. We have been shouting about this issue for a long time but government did not listen to us. The proliferation of arms is not just in the northeast. It covers the entire 774 local government areas of the country.
“They have bought tinted vehicles, police, Army, Civil Defense uniforms and weapons for their thugs for the election. No part of the country is completely free of arms. We have a great task in our hands to ensure that this election is free of any form of violence”, he said.
The NATFORCE DG also said that he was not surprised of the damning report attributed to the central intelligence agency, CIA, of the United States to the effect that aliens from the neighboring countries were moving into the northern part of the country for the elections.
CIA was quoted as saying that aliens from Cameroon, Mali, Chad and Niger were flocking into the north in droves with weapons in preparation for the forthcoming elections.
“The CIA report is not new to us. We have been shouting about the influx of foreigners into this country not just in the north. Go to the west or the east, every border in Nigeria is porous. Anybody can come in and go out of the country with relative ease”, he said.
Dr. Okereke said the fastest way of ending youth violence in the country was to create about 350 jobs in each of the local government areas by government to dissuade them from arms struggle and other criminalities.
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