The Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN), has raised concern over alleged plans by the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorochas to deploy intimidation and violence to disrupt the March 9, 2019 Governorship and State House of Assembly Elections in Imo State.
The Organization through its national coordinator, Okechukwu Nwanguma, has recalled security agencies to investigate the allegation and put proper security in place.
Nwanguma, said that NOPRIN has information that in his determination to ensure that his candidate for Imo State Governor wins by all means during the March 9 Governorship election, Governor Okorocha has perfected yet another nefarious plan to again use intimidation and violence.
“We are informed that he plans to use thugs dressed in Army uniform, who will operate in vehicles painted in Army colour. These fake army officers will operate along with members of Governor Okorocha’s so-called ‘Imo State Security Network’ to unleash terror in areas of the State where the Governor does not hope to get votes. Their grand diabolical design would be to terrorise and intimidate voters, disrupt elections and manipulate the votes in favour of his candidate.
Considering that Governor Okorocha succeeded, albeit temporarily, in brazenly deploying violence, using thugs and compromised security agents to intimidate voters and INEC officials during the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections, the probability that he will repeat and even take this act of criminality to a higher scale during the Governorship election on March 9 is very high”, he stated.
He said it will be unfortunate if, after providing this information to INEC and security authorities, Governor Okorocha still goes ahead to have another free reign deploying violence and thugs to subvert the integrity and credibility of the March 9 Governorship and State House of Assembly Elections in Imo State.
“NOPRIN hereby calls on the INEC Chairman, and particularly, on military and police authorities to promptly investigate this alleged criminal plot by Governor Okorocha to impersonate the army and use its identity to perpetrate violent electoral crimes. INEC and security authorities should take proactive steps to ensure that Okorocha does not repeat on March 9, 2019 his brazen act of electoral violence and criminality on February 23, 2019”, Nwanguma said in a statement.