As Nigerians prepare for the 2019 elections, the Nigerian government has warned parents against allowing "desperate politicians" use their children to perpetrate violence.

The government also warned against any form of threats to internal security before, during and after the electoral exercise.

Abdulrahman Dambazau, the Minister of Interior, issued the warning on Monday in Abuja.

A statement by Mohammed Manga, Director (Press and Public Relations) to the Minister,  restated the commitment of the present administration to ensuring free, fair and credible elections.

Noting the preparedness towards the elections, Dambazau said: “The Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and other security agencies have been directed to arrest and prosecute anyone threatening internal security either in form of possession of weapons of any type, interfering or causing election related disturbances, threats of violence and intimidation during the elections, disturbance of peace or involvement in political thuggery will be decisively dealt with in accordance with the laws."

He advised parents to ensure that their "children are not used by desperate politicians to disrupt the electoral process as security agencies have been mandated to guard against any form of internal security threats before, during and after the 2019 general election".

"Anyone found to be involved in sponsoring political thuggery, violence or threat to internal security will face the wrath of the law," he added.

The Minister further stated that Nigerians have the right to belong to any political party and vote candidates of their choice and, as such, politicians must give them the opportunity to do so, adding that government has put in place adequate security visibility to neutralise all forms of internal security threats that may occur before, during and after the elections.

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