Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed has said the Federal Government is not plotting to muscle opposition parties in Kwara State.
Lai’s comment was in a reaction to a claim by Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, (CNPP), that the FG is planning to clamp down on the opposition in the North-Central state.
The minister spoke in Abuja on Tuesday when he addressed a press conference, describing the allegations as baseless.
“My attention has been drawn to the allegation by the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), Kwara State Chapter, that the Federal Government plans to clamp down on the opposition parties in the state ahead of the forthcoming general elections,” he added.
“This allegation by the shadowy CNPP is a panic reaction to my consistent call on the security agencies to rid Kwara State of all known thugs and other criminals ahead of the elections, in order to provide a level playing field for all the parties.
“A similar action by the security agencies went a long way in ensuring the success of the 17 Nov. 2018 by-election in the Irepodun/Ekiti/Oke-Ero/Isin Federal Constituency in Kwara, which was won by our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and which was widely adjudged to be free, fair and peaceful.
“There is indeed every reason for thugs and other criminals in Kwara to worry, because they will not be allowed to cause violence or disrupt the conduct of the forthcoming elections.”
He noted that “the clampdown on criminals in Kwara State has unsettled those whose modus operandi is to use thugs and hooligans to snatch ballot papers, disenfranchise voters and generally terrorize the citizenry during elections.
“We have no apologies for ridding the state of these delinquents.
“However, all law-abiding Kwarans have nothing to be afraid of, as the security agencies have assured that they will provide the enabling peaceful environment for voters to exercise their franchise.
“We, therefore, call on all the good people of Kwara State to disregard the orchestrated hysteria by the so-called CNPP, which is nothing but the face of the drowning dynasty that has held Kwara State by the jugular for years. O To Ge!!!”