The National Security Adviser (NSA) Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.), has alerted of plots by some politicians to scuttle the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
He made this known during a meeting with state governors in Abuja, which was also attended by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
He said, “In view of the usual stereotype that elections in Nigeria are always followed by violent clashes and sometimes loss of lives and property, the security agencies have been working round the clock to ensure the next general elections are free from any form of the usual after-election violence. However, recent intelligence reports have indicated plans by some individuals and groups to instigate violence during and after the coming elections.
“Reports reaching me have revealed that some individuals that are uncertain of their fate in the elections are plotting to precipitate widespread violence aimed at scuttling the conduct of the polls. There are indications that these unscrupulous elements are already mobilising merchants of violence, including bandits and terrorists to orchestrate violence during the elections in several states of the federation.
“No Individual or group’s ambition is worth the loss of life of any Nigerian or our national cohesion. In this regard, we owe Nigerians the duty to protect and preserve their lives and property regardless of our individual or group aspirations.”
He told governors that they are the chief security officers of their respective states and asked them to carry out their primary function constitutionally which is the security and welfare of the people.
“In the same vein, we shall not spare any effort to do the needful in any event of activities that threatens the security and welfare of Nigerians. Therefore, I wish to state that no pseudo or quasi security outfits such as vigilantes or under any guise is allowed to participate in election security duties.
“The government will demonstrate zero tolerance for political thuggery and illegal bearing of firearms. The IG has instructed the various commands to arrest anyone bearing firearms illegally or engaging in acts of violence. I wish to restate that our doors are always open to collaborate and act pro-actively to maintain the sanctity of Nigeria,” he added.
The chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Zamfara State Governor Abdul-Aziz Yari, who briefed journalists after the meeting, said the governors represent Buhari in their states.
He also said that the President would not take the February election as a do-or-die affair.
“Following the meeting of the NGF to deliberate on election security with the NSA, we are committed to ensuring that the elections are free, fair and in a peaceful atmosphere. We are however concerned about the proliferation of arms and ammunition as well as the spate of kidnapping across the country.
“We recommend stronger collaboration and intelligence-sharing among security agencies in the country to ensure that all lives and property are protected regardless of individual and group affiliation.”
Also speaking, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu said, “The purpose of the meeting was to allow the NSA to talk to the governors, to consult with their people and ensure a violence-free election. They should monitor those who want to create problems, using touts and amassing arms.”
Governor who attended the meeting were those of Kaduna, Oyo, Cross River, Ondo, Ekiti, Kogi, Kwara, Edo, Osun, Abia, Nasarawa, Kebbi and Niger, Bauchi, Gombe, Delta, Enugu and Benue states.
Recall that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had made similar claim of politicians mobilizing bandits and Boko Haram members to scuttle the coming elections.
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