By Abimbola Ogunnaike
Ahead of Saturday, 18 March, 2023 Governorship and State Assembly Elections in Kano State, operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) have arrested two of the supporters of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) for allegedly inciting violence in Kano State.
The DSS has also deployed its crack detectives across the country to “track down any politician with the mindset of inciting violence ahead of March 18 gubernatorial and State Assembly elections”.
DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, who made this disclosure on Thursday, 16 March 2023, explained that the duo of Sharu Abubakar Tabula and Isma’il Iliyasu Mangu, were tracked down after the suspects had separately recorded inciting messages, which they shared through various social media channels.
Afunanya, who called on the concerned party to stop their nefarious activities or be ready to face the wrath of law and its consequences added that , “In those potentially harmful messages, they specifically championed certain political interests and directly called on their supporters to violently attack those opposed to them, including security personnel during the 18th March, 2023 Governorship and House of Assembly election in the State.
“As a result of this development, a particular political party in Kano has threatened to organise protest march in the metropolis as well as storm offices of some of the security agencies on 16th March, 2023 in solidarity for the suspects.”
The DSS spokesman stressed that the secret police would not idly watch “misguided persons or groups undermine the peace and security of the state”.
He called on the leadership of the party to control its members and urge them to desist from conducts capable of causing a breakdown of law and order in Kano and its environs before, during and after the scheduled election.
“Aside Kano, the service recently arrested similar subversive elements that threatened violence in other States of the Federation. It would be recalled that it had on 8th March, 2023, enjoined politicians to engage constructively and shun violence, fake news and hate speech.”
He called on the political players to abide by the letters of the electoral Act and guidelines, adding that all and sundry are advised to positively contribute to the sustenance of peace and democracy in Nigeria.
Prior to this latest development, the state has been under serious tension before the commencement of this year’s election.
There has been frosty relationship between the NNPP and DSS since the wife of Yusuf Bichi, the Director-General of the service, clashed with Abba Gida, NNPP gubernatorial candidate, in the buildup to the general elections.
Trouble started after the motorcade of Yusuf allegedly delayed Mrs. Bichi’s convoy from gaining access into the VIP lounge of Malam Aminu Kano International Airport.This, it was gathered, prompted her security details to step into the situation to clear the path, which in the process led to an altercation between the security details and aides of the gubernatorial candidate.
“The situation escalated after she told Abba that they will not board the same flight as earlier scheduled, and she spotted one of his aides, Garba Kilo, filming,” the source said.
Kilo, who was said to have been beaten up on the orders of Mrs. Bichi, was reportedly taken to the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital for treatment.
Shortly before the presidential poll, an office of the party was raided in Kano. While the party accused the secret police of vendetta, DSS displayed some weapons recovered during the raid on the NNPP campaign office.