Though one of the most fundamental government bodies with the responsibility of protecting the people and maintaining peace and order, the image of the Nigeria Police Force has been maligned given its continued silence in the face of the ever-increasing tension ahead of the March 18 election.
Less than 48 hours to the governorship and Houses of Assembly election, Musiliu Akinsanya, the Lagos State Parks Management Committee chairman also known as MC Oluomo, in a now-viral video, warned anyone who intends to vote for a party other than the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidates for elective positions in Lagos state to sit at home.
MC Oluomo, who addressed his audience in Yoruba, said, “We’ve appealed to them, if they won’t vote for us, it’s nothing to fight over. Kindly go and meet them and say, ‘Iya Chukwudi, please if you don’t want to vote for us, please sit down at home.'”
His reference to “Iya Chukwudi” in the trending video suggests that his message was directed at Igbo residents in the state who are believed to have leaned towards other parties.
On Thursday, an aide of Olumide Oworu, the Labour Party (LP) candidate for Surulere 1 constituency in the Lagos State House of Assembly election, was attacked by thugs who invaded Oworu’s rally at the Iponri area of the state.
The governorship candidate of the LP, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour on Monday raised an alarm of an assassination attempt on his life during his campaign stop in Epe.
Similar attacks are being meted out on other top contenders for the Lagos gubernatorial polls.
Funke Akindele, the deputy governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was reportedly chased out of a Lagos market by thugs during a rally recently while some of the party’s supporters were injured.
The threats and intimidation intensified after the outcome of the February 25 presidential election in Lagos where the LP candidate, Peter Obi, recorded a landslide victory against the APC’s candidate and president-elect, Bola Tinubu.
The LP also won three House of Representatives seats in the state, leading to agitations that the APC’s dominance of Lagos politics may be usurped by the opposition this weekend.
MC Oluomo’s bold threat to Lagosians, particularly Igbos who intend to vote for other parties has elicited calls for his arrest from Nigerians while some are wondering why he is yet to be nabbed by the police, especially since this is not the APC loyalist’s first time of issuing such threats.
During the presidential and National Assembly election, MC Oluomo was caught on camera intimidating Igbos from voting for their preferred candidates in his polling unit.
“Any Igbo wey dem born very well, wey dem born here, me I dey here, make dem come vote LP,” he said fearlessly in the presence of a police officer.
When the video was brought to the attention of the Lagos State Police Command, Benjamin Hundeyin, the Command’s Public Relations Officer said the video will be investigated to find out if it was an old, recycled video or not.
The silence of the police in the face of the intimidations, threats, and rising violence on opposition candidates and their supporters in Lagos despite the video evidence all over social media has deepened the lack of trust and confidence in the Nigeria Police Force, further strengthening the people’s belief that the police have abdicated their responsibility of guaranteeing the safety and security of the people.
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