Security Council meets on peaceful elections

The National Security Council (NSC) meeting held on Thursday on the security situation in the country and the effect on the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

The Minister of Defence, Brig.- Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), reported that President Muhammadu Buhari presided over the meeting at the Presidential Villa.

He said meeting recommended the deployment of security agencies to the states, to enable the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conduct the elections peacefully.

Mr Dan-Ali was hopeful that the deployment of security personnel would further douse the tension created by the outcome of the political parties’ primaries and “some desperate persons” to sabotage the electoral process.

According to him, the meeting also addressed an attempt to put pressure on the electoral body by some notable personalities through demonstrations.

He, however, said the situation was brought under control by combined efforts of security agencies to avoid the process being hijacked by hoodlums or armed bandits.

The minister pointed out that another area of security concern discussed at the meeting was post-election violence, to prevent “desperate politicians” from whipping up ethno-religious sentiments to create a security situation in the country.

He said the Council discussed the proliferation and stockpiling of weapons by some disgruntled elements with a desire to take laws into their hands at the slightest opportunity.

The Council also called for the concerted effort of all security agencies to ensure that the 2019 general elections were hitch free.

Similarly, it stressed the need for continuous sensitisation of the public by the National Orientation Agency (NOA).

The Council further called for regular meetings of relevant stakeholders including INEC, as well as international and local election observers and the media ahead of the polls.

Although the Chief of Defence Staff was absent, the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as the Inspector General of Police attended the meeting.

Also in attendance are the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr Boss Mustapha; and the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd).

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