By Charles Kalu
The National Security Adviser, NSA, retired Major General Babagana Monguno has raised an alarm that some politicians were plotting to disrupt the elections billed for February and March 2019.
Major General Monguno who was addressing the 36 state governors at Abuja described the group of politicians planning violence as those who are afraid that they will lose the coming elections. The NSA however, warned that security forces would deal with anyone caught in such acts.
He told the governors, under the umbrella of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) at its National Secretariat, Maitama, Abuja, that intelligence reports showed that there were plans by some individuals and groups to cause violence during and after the elections.
Monguno explained that: “Reports reaching me have revealed that some individuals who are uncertain of their fate in the elections are plotting to participate in widespread violence aimed at scuttling the polls.”
He stressed that the strategy of the politicians was to cause crisis that could go out of control for the government and the people.
The NSA said: “There are indications that these unscrupulous elements are already mobilising merchants of violence, including armed bandits and terrorists to cause problems cross the country.
“I will refrain from being specific on some of the plots that have been uncovered, though the security agencies will spare no efforts in dealing appropriately with any act that can destabilise the nation.
“In this regard, we owe Nigerians the duty to protect and preserve their lives and property regardless of our individual or group aspirations.”
However, he reiterated that government will not accept any thuggery or bearing of illegal weapons, saying:“Government will demonstrate zero tolerance to political thuggery and illegal bearing of fire-arms.
He said: “I wish to restate that our doors are always open to collaborate and act proactively to maintain the sanctity of Nigeria.”
In an interview with journalists at the end of the meeting, the Chairman of the Governors Forum and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, expressed concern over the proliferation of arms and ammunition in the country ahead of the February 16 general election.
Yari, who noted that the governors were also alarmed over the spate of kidnapping across the country, disclosed that the governors have recommended a stronger collaboration and intelligence sharing among security agencies to ensure that lives and property were protected.
According to him, the governors have further resolved to collaborate with security agencies to ensure that the elections are free, fair and credible.
Yari said: “Governors as major stakeholders, they seek our cooperation so that their job would be easier. We promised to do our best and ensure the election is free and credible.”
Also speaking at the meeting, the acting Inspector General of Police, IGP, Muhammed Adamu, reassured Nigerians of a violence free poll.He said security agencies were ready for the election and would ensure that they mop up illegal arms in the system.
The police boss also assured of the neutrality of the police, which he said should not be in doubt during the elections.