The National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno in a meeting with state governors under the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), stated that security forces have received information on plots by some politicians to employ bandits and terrorists to disrupt the upcoming general elections.
Backstory: The NSA made this revelation during the meeting which took place in Abuja on Thursday, saying, “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 mobilizing 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.”
NGF and Security Agencies Dedicated to Free and Fair Elections: Addressing the comments made by the NSA, Zamfara State Governor and Chairman of the NGF, Abdul-Aziz Yari, made it known that President Buhari and the State Governors are fully committed to seeing that the general elections are conducted in a free and fair manner without interference.
While asking for the security agencies to work with one another and share intelligence, Yari also called for collaboration between security agencies and the governors of the states where they are located.
“Lastly, we seek synergy between governors and heads of security agencies in their states to curb election violence. We have this emergency meeting to discuss strategies to ensure a peaceful election. We have promised to do our best. We all came in through the ballot boxes and we will stand by that process.”
The Acting IGP, Muhammed Adamu while speaking on behalf of the security agencies set to ensure a smooth election, reiterated the agencies commitment to neutrality, saying, “We have been told that the security agencies must also go round and mop up arms. All the security agencies have pledged to be neutral and professional in the processes of the elections. So, we should not be in doubt about the neutrality of security agencies.”