Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has tasked security agencies operating in the state on the need to remain vigilante, following the protest staged by members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the winner of the guber election.
Engineer Sule laid the task during a security meeting to review events before, during and after the 2023 general election, at the Government House, on Tuesday.
While commending the security agencies for demonstrating high level of professionalism throughout the period of the election, the Governor however urged them to remain vigilante despite successfully dispersing the protesters who initially barricaded major roads in Lafia, the state capital.
He said this has become necessary even as there are unconfirmed reports of attacks on individuals that refused to support the cause of protesters, as well as to nib regrouping of the protesters who may cause havoc to innocent citizens of the state.
According to the Governor, post election issues have become part of the democratic process but it should not be allowed to degenerate into a situation whereby travellers passing through Nasarawa State are caused to suffer avoidable hardships.
“The situation that we also had of some suspected troublemakers around Obi, Keana, Nasarawa-Eggon Local Government Areas, are areas that I believe we cannot fold our arms and let go.
“I don’t want us to start celebrating that everything is okay until everything is okay. Some of these people may just withdraw temporarily because they have seen the enormous force detailed to curtail their activities. But once we relax, some of these people can go back and may cause havoc to innocent people of the state.
“It’s one of the reasons for convening this meeting. There are still rumours about spot attacks on certain individuals that they believe have not supported whatever cause that they have. It’s important we discuss these issues and see how we can resolve them,” he stated.
Engineer Sule used the opportunity of the meeting to review issues of security in the state before, during and after the election, following which he thanked the security agencies, particularly the Commissioner of Police, Maiyaki Muhammed Baba, as well as the Emir of Lafia, HRH Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad (rtd), for their contributions and support towards ensuring a peaceful conduct of the election.
He specifically commended the security agencies for maintaining professionalism and neutrality, in spite of the temptations to abandon their responsibilities.
“I want to sincerely thank you for your hard work, for your professionalism, for your approach to issues. Because periods such as this are tempting moments to go out of line but you remained committed, you remained dedicated to whatever is it that you want to do and at the end of the day, God Almighty supported us to having an election that was concluded without having any major crisis,” he said.
The Governor equally commended the security agencies for recording successes in curtailing activities of criminals in the state during the period under review.
“Just before and during the election, I am aware of the establishment of the sleeper cell and recruitment of members of the terrorist group ISWAP by one Abba Ali at Mararaban Akunza. And again, I want to thank you for your quick response to that to ensure that both that group as well as the emergence of the suspected political thugs that nick named themselves Macabees, did not have any impact during the election.
“Once more, I thank you for your efforts and for being alert to your responsibilities. The killing of the former Commander of the vigilante at Ajaga village in Nasarawa LGA also came onboard and you were quick to response. I want to thank especially the police and the 177 Guards Brigade Keffi, for your effort in ensuring you brought the situation under control,” he added.
Engineer Sule appreciated the security agencies for successfully curtailing protesters that gathered across major streets in some selected local government areas, whose activities if left unchecked, may have caused embarrassment to the state.
He thanked the police, army and air force for their combined efforts to disperse the protesters especially around Assakio, Doma, Lafia, Nasarawa-Eggon and Akwanga.
“Nasarawa State is on the major highway linking the North to the South. Sometimes innocent travelers get caught up and become embarrassing to the state,” he stated.