•Report by Kamil Opeyemi
The Kano State government led Umar Ganduje has accused its major political rival in the State, NNPP of perpetrating violence ahead of March 11 Governorship and State House of Assembly Elections.
This is as the government vowed to check any attempt by the opposition the forthcoming elections in the state.
This was made known in a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information and Internal Affairs, Malam Muhammad Garba, in Kano on Monday.
He said that the government was compelled to bring the plan to the attention of the public, “because this could disrupt the governorship and House of Assembly elections to its favour”.
He further stated that government has received credible information on how thugs will be hired from villages in Kano and beyond to upset the electoral process through violence, massive rigging, box snatching and arson.
Garba recalled that in 2019, the opposition managed a well organised election rigging network, particularly in the metropolitan local governments, where youths, mostly without voter cards, were engaged to perpetrate the act.
The commissioner alleged that this time around, the opposition was planning to bring chaos through the use of thugs to cause mayhem with a view to dispersing voters at polling units in order to have the opportunity to rig the elections and subvert the will of the people.
He further alleged that the statement issued by the opposition in the state was just playing the victim card, but had perfected their nefarious plans to ensure that they disrupt the electoral process and deploy maximum violence.
Garba however assured that the APC-led government would ensure that peace prevailed in the state.
The commissioner called on relevant security agencies to be alive to their responsibility by fishing out any individual or group bent on fomenting trouble to deny people exercise their franchise.
The main opposition NNPP in the state had earlier on Monday alerted residents via a news conference on alleged plans by the ruling APC to subvert the course of democracy by intimidation of the electorate and other anti democracy strategies.
The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) therefore urged security agencies to provide a peaceful and violence-free governorship and state assembly elections in the state.
A Chieftain of the party, Dr Bappa Bichi, told newsmen that the desire of Nigerians to elect leaders of their choice would only be possible if security agencies provided a level playing field for all political parties.
According to him, this will pave way for free, fair and credible election.
Bichi also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to be neutral, fair and non-partisan in the discharge of their duties during and after the polls.
The Police Command in the state had also warned political parties, their candidates and supporters against any acts of violence and thuggery.
The Spokesman of the command, SP Abdullahi Kiyawa, also assured of their neutrality during the elections.
According to him, security agencies had resolved to ensure peaceful conduct of the polls, arrest and prosecute perpetrators of violence as it did during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.