Following the violence that characterized the just concluded All Progressive Congress (APC) Primaries for the November local government election in Niger State, no fewer than 62 people suspected to be political thugs have been arrested by the state police command.
Niger State Police Commissioner Adamu Usman, who disclosed this in Minna on Sunday, said that the suspects were arrested across five local government areas where the violence took place.
The violence that erupted during the primaries claimed about three lives in Shiroro local government area alone, while other local governments witnessed some pockets of crisis.
“We have so far apprehended 62 miscreants from five local government areas for political violence in the state,” the Commissioner said.
The local government areas where these arrest were made includes Katcha, Shiroro,Tafa, Rafi and Rijiau where local government elections primaries were characterised by violence.
The police boss said in a statement signed by the police command public relation officer, DSP Mohammed Abubakar, pointed out that most of those arrested were found with acting under the influence of substances suspected to be hard drugs and were in possession of dangerous weapons.
He warned those that have the intention of fomenting trouble in the forthcoming local government elections to have a rethink, adding that the arrest of the suspects was just a tip of an iceberg.
He however admonished anyone with any grievances in the conduct of the primary elections to seek redress in the court of law rather than resorting to violence.
Usman vowed that the Command under his watch would not fold its arms and allow disgruntled elements to continue to harass and intimidate innocent citizens of the state.
He said that police operatives have recovered from the suspects a Toyota vehicle laden with dangerous weapons such as machetes, daggers and knives.
According to him, the suspects have been charged to court for unlawful assembly, disturbance of public peace, being in possession of dangerous weapons and for sponsoring thuggery in violation of the Niger State anti-thuggery law.