Nigerian police minister becomes partisan, leads APC campaign in Sokoto
The appointment of the Minister for Police Affairs, Alhaji Muhammadu Maigari Dingyaɗi as the Director General of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Campaign Organisation for the 2023 general elections in Sokoto State has caused acrimony, anger and bad blood in the seat of the Caliphate.
This has resulted in a series of complaints and petitions against the police affairs minister.
Recently, the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Sokoto State chapter petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, alleging that the appointment poses a serious threat to free, fair and peaceful elections in the state.
The petition jointly signed by the Sokoto State IPAC Chairman Alhaji Hassan Bello and Secretary Alhaji Atiku Ibrahim obtained by SaharaReporters reads, “The Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC) Sokoto State wishes to express its total objection to the appointment of the Minister for Police Affairs, Alhaji Muhammadu Maigari Dingyaɗi, as the Director General of the 2023 election campaign by the All Progressives Congress in Sokoto State.
“The council views the appointment of Dingyaɗi as the chief executor of a political campaign as an abuse of his portfolio as the Number One law enforcement officer of Nigeria…”
The petition, which was copied to the Chairman, Independent Electoral Commission; the Director General, Department of State Services (DSS); the Attorney General and Minister of Justice; International Republican Institute (IRI); USAID; Ecowas Mission in Nigeria; the British High Commission; the US Embassy; the European Commission and Former Head of State and Chairman, National Peace Committee, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, gave reasons why the appointment is wrong.
They, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to direct his appointee (Maigari Dingyaɗi) to either withdraw from the position of Campaign DG or from the cabinet post in order to safeguard his credibility or that of the Nigeria Police that he is supervising.
This they consider necessary in the interest of peace and order and for the protection of the inalienable rights of the people of Sokoto State to free and fair choice, without hindrance in the coming elections.
The petitioners said: “The Nigeria Police are under the law of our nation, the chief enforcers of law and order during the electioneering process, with the constitutional authority to apprehend and arrest breakers of the laws guiding the process. The need to insulate the Nigeria Police from partisan influences in the discharge of their duty makes it imperative for all operators of the security system to be free of partisan leanings and sympathies.
“The appointment of the Minister in charge of the Police, to whom all personnel in the force, including the IGP are answerable is therefore, a real, clear and present threat to their neutrality.
“IPAC and indeed, the entire electorate in Sokoto State are in constant fear for peaceful polls in the state, due mainly to the violent posture of the APC, which is already manifesting in the form of attacks by their political thugs on the premises and activities of other parties, against which Maigari Dingyaɗi, as an APC leader in the state has failed to intervene.”
The petition lists recent violent actions by suspected thugs of the APC to include: “The attack on the PDP campaign convoy led by the Governor of Sokoto State, while returning from a rally in Wamakko town. The attack was carried out by armed area boys, emerging from the constituency office of Sokoto State APC leader, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko.
“The invasion and destruction of the building, billboards and vehicles at the Sokoto State PDP Secretariat along Ahmadu Bello Way by the armed area boys escort of Senator Wamakko, Dingyaɗi and other APC leaders on their return from the inauguration of their state campaign council, which Ɗingyaɗi, Minister for Police Affairs is appointed to lead.”