Killer Squad Training For 2011 —Top Police Source


•Onovo, Police IG.

Desperate politicians have resorted to self-help ahead of the 2011 general elections, by  hiring and training thugs to use during the period.

•Onovo, Police IG

A top police source in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, confided in P.M.NEWS today that  intelligence gathered by its officers and men across the country indicate that thugs are  already undergoing training ahead of the 2011 general elections.

According to the intelligence reports, the killer squads have already commenced training in  16 states of the federation in the area of weapons handling and shooting, under the watchful  eyes of ex-military men.

P.M.NEWS gathered that states involved include: Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Abia,  Anambra, Edo, Taraba, Adamawa and Imo among others. The police source who declined to give  further details, so as not to jeopardise police response and strategy, vowed that the police  would map out strategies to thwart the sinister plot of the desperate politicians.

The revelation is coming on the heels of an alarm raised by a community leader in Taraba  State that there is a massive stockpile of weapons in the southern part of the state. The  community leader, Malam Yusuf Yakubu called on the Inspector-General of Police and the  Security Committees of the National Assembly to immediately investigate the arms pile up.

Yakubu made the call in Wukari on Wednesday during an interactive session with journalists.  He said those behind the weapons pile-up had ill motives against humanity. He said the alarm  became necessary in view of the recent arrest of persons with large cache of weapons in  Borno State that were alleged to be Taraba and Plateau State-bound.

Yakubu claimed that weapons were being stockpiled especially in Wukari and Takum, noting  that this has been going on for  years. He recalled the Kutep/Jukun and Jukun/Tiv ethnic and  communal conflicts as examples of violent combustions during which different types of  weapons were used.

He held that although people in Takum at a time agreed to surrender their weapons to the  police, only a few did. According to him, the weapons surrendered were publicly destroyed at  the Taraba Police Command headquarters in Jalingo, but that the people later resumed  acquiring other weapons in large quantity.

According to him, the weapons that were brought out during the recent religious crisis in  Wukari were part of such pile-up, adding that people of the area now live in perpetual fear.  He blamed the elite for this sad development and urged the police to be more vigilant in  order to prevent any ugly incident in the state.

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When contacted for comments, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Alhaji Aliyu Musa  confirmed that the police have received reports to that effect. Aliyu added that  investigation into the matter was in progress and that the police was on top of the  situation.

Investigations further revealed that politicians are not taking chances about their safety  and their desire to win at all costs, considering the spate of assassinations that usually  characterise election period in Nigeria. Only recently, an aspirant to the House of  Representatives under Uriomhwon/Uhunwonde Federal Constituency in Edo State, Oghogho  Omoregbe, aged 36, was assassinated at Idubor Avenue, 2nd Ugbor Road in Benin on the day he  declared to contest the 2011 election.

He was a civil engineer and farmer.

Also in Ekiti State, Kunle Ayaga, a House of Assembly aspirant under the banner of the  Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, was killed recently in what many believed was politically  motivated. Another high profile murder involved Dipo Dina, an ACN governorship candidate in  Ogun State in 2007.

Politicians are grooming and hiring armed thugs because of the loss of faith in the ability  of security agencies to protect them and the motivation to rig election rather than lose and  go to tribunals where they believe they can’t get justice. The politicians have even gone  the extra mile in terms of protecting themselves against any attack by their opponents by  acquiring bullet-proof vehicles.

A top American auto armouring company revealed recently that with the approach of the 2011  elections, more Nigerians have placed orders for heavily fortified antiballistic vehicles.  Executive Vice President of Texas Armouring Corporation, Mr. Jason Forston was quoted as  saying that the presidency, governors, politicians and other wealthy Nigerians are among  those that have placed orders for bullet-proof SUVs.

He said the company has sent close to 800-900 armoured vehicles to Nigeria over the years,  with more orders coming ahead of the 2011 polls, adding that about 30 percent of the auto  armouring company’s market is in Nigeria.

—Jide Osokoya

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