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Defections inducing violence, crisis – Abdulsalami warns politicians

A former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), has cautioned against the frequent defections by politicians, saying it brews violence, crisis and also overheat the polity.

The retired Army general, on Thursday, at the launch of the Peace and Inclusive Security Initiative by the 36 states governors yesterday in Abuja, warned against the frequent defections by politicians from one political party to another.

He spoke against the backdrop of political realignment by politicians ahead of the 2023 general election that has seen some of them, especially governors and lawmakers, change parties.

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No fewer than three governors had dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) since last November when Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Dave Umahi, left the opposition party.

Others that had defected were Governors Ben Ayade of Cross River State and Alhaji Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State.

Also, at the launch of the initiative, the British High Commission in Nigeria, warned that the crisis facing Nigeria, if not quickly resolved, could destabilise the democratic process and the 2023 general election.

It also called for urgent reforms in the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force, explaining that the use of the army and the police cannot resolve the security challenges facing Nigeria.

It said the way forward is reconciliation, mediation, arbitration, and access to justice.

Abdulsalami, represented by the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, warned politicians against the frequent change of parties as it could destabilise the country.

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He said, “These acts of defections cause violence and overheat the polity because of a simple act of one politician. These decisions spur violence and crisis.”

He also called for more cooperation among the security agencies in tackling crimes and criminalities.

He queried the deradicalisation of repentant insurgents, saying that the federal government should make open the content of deradicalisation that is given to them.