2019: Politicians stockpiling weapons, planning post-election violence – Security Chiefs

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The National Security Council has raised security concerns over post-election violence and the stockpiling of weapons by desperate politicians, as they decried the proliferation and stockpiling of weapons by politicians to cause mayhem ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The closed-door meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, and was attended by the Minister of Defence, Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (retd) and Service Chiefs to consider the threats posed by the arms proliferation and fears of possible post-election violence.

Among those who attended the meeting were National Security Adviser, NSA, Maj.-Gen. Babangana Monguno (retd); Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Yusuf Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris.

The meeting also discussed what it termed as attempts by “notable personalities” to manipulate and put pressure on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, through street demonstrations that could be hijacked by hoodlums and miscreants.

Briefing State House Correspondents after the meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Defence Minister said government was worried over the attitude of some politicians who are likely to whip sentiments among Nigerians to cause crisis after the 2019 polls.

He said, “One area of security concern includes post-election violence as desperate politicians may whip up ethno-religious sentiments to create security situation in the country.

“Also of concern is the proliferation and stockpiling of weapons by some disgruntled elements with a desire to take laws into their hands at the slightest opportunity.”

Dan-Ali said the meeting, however, recommended the deployment of security agencies to states for peaceful conduct of the elections.

“The Council recommended deployment of security agencies to states to enable the elections to be conducted peacefully and to further doused tension created by the outcome of the political parties’ primaries and some desperate persons to sabotage the electoral process.”

The Defence minister explained that the Security Council called for the concerted efforts of all security agencies to ensure that 2019 elections are hitch free.

The Council, according to him, also called on the need for continuous sensitization of the public by National Orientation Agency, NOA, and regutive lar meetings of relevant stakeholders including the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, international/local observers and the media ahead of the elections.

The defence minister said general overview of the security situation in the country as it relates to the conduct of the forthcoming 2019 general elections was discussed.

Council, according to him, also discussed attempt to put pressure on electoral body by some notable personalities through demonstrations which was brought under control by combined efforts of security agencies to avoid been hijacked by hoodlums and armed bandits.

“The meeting also discussed attempt to put pressure on electoral body by some notable personalities through demonstrations which was brought under control by combine efforts of security agencies to avoid being hijacked by hoodlums or armed bandits,” he said.

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