FG raises alarm over plot to sabotage 2019 election

The Federal Government has raised the alarm of alleged plots by some individuals and groups, to sabotage the forthcoming general elections.

The alarm was raised by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), and Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd).

Maj-Gen Monguno, who met behind closed-doors with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) in Abuja, said in a speech, that the alert was a product of “recent intelligence reports”. It will be recalled that the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had raised a similar alarm last week.

The NSA has, however, ordered security operatives across the country to identify and deal appropriately with acts capable of derailing the polity.

While vowing zero tolerance for political thuggery before, during and after the elections, Monguno further warned that no quasi security outfits, howsoever referred to, will be allowed to participate in election security duties. He, therefore, called for the support and collaboration of all stakeholders, saying security remained a collective responsibility.

Monguno said: “It is with a great sense of responsibility and a firm commitment  to national cohesion and security that I bring before you some issues that are critical to our common good and the peaceful state of our country, Nigeria.

“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 that the general elections are free of any form of the usual afterelection 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.

Their strategy is to cause crises that could snowball into endless crises for the government and citizens. “There are indications that these unscrupulous elements are already mobilising merchants of violence, including armed bandits and terrorists to orchestrate violence during the elections in several states of the Federation.”

On what the government will do to perpetrators of violence, the retired two-star General noted: “In the same vein, we shall not spare any effort to do the needful in any event of activities that threaten 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.

“Government will demonstrate zero tolerance to political thuggery and illegal bearing of firearms. The IGP has instructed the various commands to arrest anyone bearing firearms illegally or engaging in acts of violence.”

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