FG warns against plots to ignite civil unrest during election

security agencies have been charged to ensure a robust deployment to deal decisively with any individual or group, no matter how highly placed”

Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd)- National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President

The National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, has warned against plots to exploit current socio-economy situation in Nigeria to ignite civil unrest before, during and after the general election.

Monguno, represented by Sanusi Galadima, an official in the Office of NSA, gave the warning during the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) meeting held by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja on Tuesday.

Monguno said government was aware of plots by domestic subversive groups and their external collaborators to exploit the current socio-economic climate in the country occasioned by well-intended government policies to ignite civil arrest.

“In this vein and in line with Mr President’s commitment to ensure a peaceful transition of political power to a democratically elected next president through free, fair and credible elections, security agencies have been charged to ensure a robust deployment to deal decisively with any individual or group, no matter how highly placed”.

Consequently, the NSA appealed for strong commitment among critical stakeholders in the electoral process, strict adherence to the rules of the game by the political actors and for security personnel, the exhibition of high level of professionalism toward achieving a successful and credible election.

He assured Nigerians of his undeterred determination to coordinate the effort of all security and intelligence agencies towards the successful conduct of 2023 general elections

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The NSA, however, observed with serious concern the escalation of violent electioneering campaigns in parts of the country in spite of the peace accord endorsed by all the presidential flag bearers.

“This ugly trend displayed centres largely on the attitude of political actors, their sponsored thugs and other unpatriotic elements through unguarded utterances.

“Apparently, the above has further impeached the concerted efforts of security and intelligence agencies to effectively neutralise the prevailing security challenges associated with insurgency, terrorism, kidnapping, and separatists agitations, resource-based and communal conflict, among others,”the NSA said.

Monguno urged INEC to reiterate the need for presidential candidates to uphold their commitment to peaceful upcoming elections in the next round of national peace accord.

He enjoined INEC, security agencies and the National Peace Committee to evolve strategies to  de-escalate the usual anxieties that characterise build-up to Nigeria general elections.

Monguno also applauded the revised Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Security Agencies on Electoral Duties released at the meeting.

“The Foregoing will undoubtedly enhance synergy and collaboration among member agencies to effectively mitigate in envisage threat to during and post-election phases.’’

In his remarks, INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu said that INEC was encouraged by the assurances of security in all locations, where elections and electoral activities will be conducted.

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Yakubu said that the meeting was to fine-tune the committee operation plan for the forthcoming elections, to guarantee safety of all.

“The commission is aware that security agencies are going to protect not only our officials and facilities, but also accredited observers, journalists, service providers, and above all the voters themselves.

“So this meeting is rarely an opportunity for us to fine-tune our operations, not only for the protection of the environment or the security of the environment in which election will be conducted.

“Also the security of all those involved in the process, ranging from INEC officials, the facilities we are going to use for the election, as well as all those who have legitimate business to be part of the electoral process

“From the observers to journalists representing various national and international media organisations to service providers like transporters, and others, but above all, the voters will cast their votes in about 177,000 locations nationwide on Saturday,’’ Yakubu said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports  that highlight of the meeting included the presentation of the reviewed Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Security Agencies on Electoral Duties.