The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Idowu Omohunwa, on Friday disclosed that the threat directed at a section of voters by the Chairman of the State Parks Management Committee, Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo, was being investigated.
In a viral video shared on Twitter, Akinsanya, at a gathering threatened that Igbo voters in the state should not go to their polling units if they would not vote for the All Progressives Congress.
He said, “It is not a fight. It is not a problem. What do we want to correct? Our PVC. And we will stand there. Yoruba should get there first and should vote first. When we finish voting, we will be watching because we have begged you and you said you have heard. If you make a mistake, you will understand. Please tell them, we have begged them.
“If they don’t vote for us, it is not a fight. Tell them that, Chukwudi’s mother, if you don’t (vote) for us, sit down at home. Do you understand? Sit down at home.”
However, the police commissioner in an interview with Arise TV, which was monitored by Saturday PUNCH said the command would investigate the matter.
Omohunwa said, “First and foremost, we condemn in the strongest possible term any act, statements, actions that might be interpreted as hate speech or that could be interpreted as deepening political tension regardless of the brains that could be behind that.
“With regard to the specific video you (the anchor) mentioned, it is currently a subject of a detailed investigation. Of course, we are deploying our cyber security assets to support that process and I can assure you that nobody, is above the law.
“This country is regulated by law, so anybody that tries to use his position or influence to deepen hate or engender political tension which could, of course, snowball into violence will not be tolerated.
The CP also warned those behind the video and other individuals who plan to harass voters that they would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
He added, “It remains the responsibility and the mandate of the police to investigate such cases, and the specific one you mentioned, will not be isolated.
“It is already a subject of review, and it will be in the interest of the actors behind it and all others that wish to also engage in such ill-informed, ill-directed actions to be very careful to be firmly warned because in the fullness of time, the full law will take its course and it will not be different in this case.”
Meanwhile, Akinsanya, in another video that surfaced later explained that his words were taken out of context, adding that he did not espouse voter suppression.
He said, “I was at a meeting I attended yesterday (Thursday) and a woman who is like my sister was the Mama Chukwudi I was referring to, that if she knew she would not vote for me she should stay at home.
“Next, I saw in social media and they were calling my name. Please, I am always for peace. Why would I say that people should not come out to vote? If people don’t come out to vote, how will they vote for the APC? How will the Igbo and Hausa vote for us?
“The APC is my party, so count me out of the quotes you are peddling around. The person I was referring to was there in the meeting, I was merely joking, and I didn’t threaten anyone. You can go and ask about me among the Igbo in Oshodi. Only a portion of my words was taken and misconstrued,” Akinsanya said.
Meanwhile, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has called on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to arrest MC Oluomo over the video.
The National Publicity Secretary of the group, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, enjoined Igbo resident in Lagos not to be deterred by threats but come out en masse to vote their desired candidates.
He stated, “The Police IG should arrest MC Oluomo and question him. He should be seen to be undergoing a certain level of questioning. Also, when he is arrested, it should be made public that he has been arrested. That will help people to know that the government is at work.”
He called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu, to intervene. “Nobody has a monopoly of violence, no one has control of life and death,” he added.