Senator Shehu Sani, a former federal lawmaker who represented Kaduna Central in the eighth National Assembly, has listed what the political thugs/hoodlums in Nigeria are used for.
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In a tweet posted on Friday, May 21, the social critic said the society merely pretends that the thugs or hoodlums are miscreants.
According to him, below are the atrocities the thugs are used to commit:
1. Intimidating political opponents
2. Rigging elections (e.g ballot boxes snatching)
3. Providing protection for public office holders
4. Suppressing dissent by attacking protesters
Michael Sunday Agba, a doctoral candidate and lecturer, revealed while political thuggery thrives in Nigeria in a report titled Political Thuggery and Democratic Dividends in Nigeria: An Empirical Study.
The scholar said the rising level of poverty, unemployment and weak security agencies account for the thriving market for political thuggery and violence in Nigeria.
He also stated that statistical test reveals that political thuggery hinders public accountability of elective officers thus a bane to good governance in Nigeria.
Political thuggery, Agba added, increases the crime rate and is thus a threat to the achievement of democratic dividends and exercise of citizenship rights in Nigeria.
The study stated:
“The more elective offices are made attractive financially the more politicians employ thugs during elections and campaigns.
The scholar recommended among others that government should make elective offices less attractive financially.
He added that government programmes and policies should be aimed at solving unemployment, poverty and strengthening the capacity of security agencies.
Agba also advised the government to consistently educate the masses/youths on the evil of political thuggery and violence.
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While delivering the 34th convocation lecture of the University of Calabar, titled ‘Beyond our Imperfect Union: The National Question and Nigeria’s Future’, the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, admitted that the political elites are responsible for Nigeria’s security challenges.
He said the political elite ignored Nigerians in the lower class which led them into criminal activities.
Ameachi added that politicians in their quest for political positions now patronise thugs and criminals, just as he blamed them for what he described “increasingly militant regional and ethnic nationalism”.