The Nigerian Police and Military have issued stern warnings to individuals and groups planning to scuttle the May 29th inauguration of president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Tukur Gusau, re-echoed the military warning to dissident groups that any threats to the transition programme and by extension to democracy in the country would be crushed.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya, had earlier threatened to crack down on potential threats to national security and warned troublemakers not to test the will of the military.
Asked if the military was ready to neutralize threats to the inauguration ceremony, he simply answered, ‘’Yes,’’ adding that the preparation for the event was ongoing.
“We are already doing our rehearsals for the march past parade,’’ he noted.
Addressing journalists at a press briefing at the Force Headquarters, Louis Edet House, Abuja, the IG said the police and other security agencies are ready to deal with aggrieved political actors and their supporters plotting to scuttle the swearing-in programme.
The Defence headquarters and the police handed down the warning on Monday as a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja fixed Thursday for hearing of a suit seeking to stop the inauguration of the former Lagos State governor.
Justice Inyang Ekwo on Monday asked the five applicants who sued on behalf of the Federal Capital Territory residents and voters to convince the court of their locus standi, jurisdiction and whether there is a similar matter before the presidential elections court.
But speaking against the background of the clamour by some people for an interim government and alleged incitement statements that Tinubu should not be sworn in as the president, the IG cautioned those involved in any plot to destabilise the presidential inauguration to desist as the security agencies were determined to protect democracy in the country.
He stated, “The Nigeria Police hereby sternly warns all political actors with subversion agenda and their collaborators, particularly, their foot soldiers who they are exposing to political radicalization and extremism to, henceforth, jettison their ongoing premeditated attempts to create tension within the national space with intention of derailing the May 29, 2023 Presidential Inauguration Ceremony.
“Any such persons, regardless of their political affiliations who continuously engage in acts that are inimical to our nation’s democratic and security interests should not be in doubt of 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.’’
The police chief admonished the citizens to be mindful of the antics of political elements who may want to manipulate their political passion to advance parochial, undemocratic and unconstitutional objectives.
“They should resist such, go about their lawful businesses and prepare to be part of the advancement of our democratic journey as patriotic citizens by freely participating in the inauguration ceremonies, assured that the Nigeria Police have acquired adequate assets to guarantee their protection,’’ he admonished.
Baba further encouraged Nigerians to promptly report for appropriate law enforcement response to any attempts by the misguided political elements to infiltrate their ranks and engender political tension in the country.
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