PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, met with heads of National Security Council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
This is as the security chiefs have raised concerns over proliferation and stockpiling of weapons by politicians to cause mayhem ahead of the 2019 general elections.
file photo: President Buhari with Service Chiefs
The meeting also discussed what it described as attempts by “notable personalities” to manipulate and put pressure on Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, through street demonstrations that could be hijacked by hoodlums and miscreants.
Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, in a statement he read after the meeting, said it was recommended that security agencies should deploy their personnel to states, ahead of the polls and to douse the tension created by recent rancorous political party primaries.
He said: “The meeting started by discussing the general overview of the security situation in the country as it relates to the conduct of the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
“It recommended deployment of security agencies to the states to enable elections to be conducted peacefully and to further douse the tension created by the outcome of the political parties primaries and some desperate persons to sabotage the electoral process.
“The meeting 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 being hijacked by hoodlums and armed bandits.”
“Another 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.
“The Council called for the concerted effort of all security agencies to ensure that the 2019 elections are hitch-free and the need for continuous sensitization of the public by National Orientation Agency and regular meetings of relevant stakeholders, including INEC, international/local observers and the media ahead of the elections.”
The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, also told State House correspondents that all security agencies would be neutral and non-partisan in their operations during the general elections