General elections will not be compromised by the security agencies – NSA

National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno
National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Mohammed Monguno, has assured Nigerians that the forthcoming general election would not be compromised by security agencies.

Mr Moguno, a retired major general, gave the assurance at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) National Stakeholders’ Forum for 2019 General Election on Thursday in Abuja.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to credible and peaceful election, saying the election is not a do-or-die affair for him.

“During the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2017, Buhari clearly stated that he is committed to ensuring that elections are free and fair.

“I want to re-emphasise for the benefit of any doubting Thomas that the election will not be compromised by security agencies in this country. I believe that the heads of security agencies are men of honour,” Mr Monguno said.

He assured that every Nigerian would be allowed to exercise his civic responsibility in an atmosphere devoid of intimidation.

“Gone are the days in which people will be gagged, people will be suspicious of security agencies. Nobody is allowed to be partisan, to take side with anybody, any political group or organisation.”

He warned security personnel that in discharging their responsibilities, they should not allow themselves to be used by those who want to disrupt the peace of the election.

Mr Monguno also urged those planning to cause trouble during the election or pseudo military to have a rethink.

“Secondly those who want to use the media to spread poison, please think twice because that can exacerbate the already very delicate situation.

“We do not want any unnecessary trouble in the country. Whatever can be avoided should be avoided.”

He said individuals caught causing violence or violating electoral law would be arrested and prosecuted, and if traced to anybody such person would be arrested.

Mr Monguno also urged religion leaders not to be emotional in spreading the gospel, but allow Nigerians to choose for themselves so that the election process can be peacefully.

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“I want to assure that we will do everything within our means to ensure the protection of lives and property of every Nigerian. Our doors are opened to those who want to help,” he added.

The Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, speaking on security arrangements for the election, assured that level playground would be provided for all political parties and candidates.

Mr Adamu said security agencies had already identified flash points across the country, while arrangements had been perfected for the deployment of police officers to secure the election.

“Apart from regular police officers and other security personnel that are being posted.

“We have our Tactical Units like the Mobile Police Force, the Counter Terrorism and Special Protection Units which are all been deployed for additional security.

“In the tactical unit over 34,000 police personnel will be deployed, 4,000 counter terrorism personnel and about 8,000 special protection units will also be deployed.”

He said security personnel had also been deployed to protect INEC offices, staff, ad hoc staff, election materials, NYSC lodges as well as public infrastructure.

Mr Adamu, however, warned against vote buying adding that security personnel deployed for election would look for anybody who may involve in vote buying and selling.

He said restriction of vehicular movement would be enforced on election days, adding that erection of tents near polling units would not be allowed.

“There should be no erection of tent within the vicinity of polling units. We shall not allowed it.”

He added there shall be no escort of vehicle by police officers, warning that anybody found of doing that would be punished.

He advised voters not to cluster around the voting units beyond the distance allowed by INEC.

(NAN)

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