The Federal Government on Tuesday warned politicians and political party supporters against the use of thugs to perpetrate violence during the 2019 general elections.
The warning is contained in a statement by Dr Mohammed Umar, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior.
Umar said that the warning became necessary in view of the need to ensure free and fair “election process in the country”.
He quoted retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, the Minister of Interior, as saying that government would not “fold its arms and watch politicians throw the country into chaos and unrest simply because they want to win elections”.
He added: “Security agencies have been directed to ensure adequate security of lives and property during and even before the general elections in line with the policy direction of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.”
According to him, President Buhari is committed to free and fair elections in 2019 and this can only be possible if politicians give peace a chance by avoiding all forms of political thuggery and violence in their struggle to get elected.
The minister warned that anyone caught in the possession of any type of weapons during the elections or rallies “may attract arrest and prosecution”.
He, therefore, advised youths in the country not to allow themselves to be used by “desperate politicians who want power at all cost and may influence them into political thuggery and violence over little gratification, to the detriment of their future”.