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Elections: FG reads riot act to political actors over firearms build-up, hate speech

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Godsgift Onyedinefu

The Federal Government has read riot act to political actors over reports of firearms build-up with intent to threaten the electoral process and National Security in the country ahead of the general elections starting February.

The National Security Adviser (NSA) Maj-Gen. Monguno (rtd), gave this warning on Friday during the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) at the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in Abuja.

Monguno who is the co-chairman of ICCES stressed that desperation of some politicians in circumventing the electoral laws, ethics, and moral dictates by resorting to thuggery, armed violence, disruption of the voting process, and vote buying, was another concern.

According to him, “All of these constitutes not only serious electoral infractions, but major national security threats.”
He warned that any political actor whose conduct  threatens national security be dealt with.

“Any political actor who by his or her conduct threatens the electoral process, contravenes the law or endanger national security and democratic values will be isolated and dealt with in the most professional and pro-active manner.
“Politicians are, therefore, strongly advised to place national security interests above narrow political considerations by situating all their electioneering activities within the provisions of the Electoral Act and other relevant laws. 

“Electoral offences and sundry misconducts that could threaten national security and the electoral process will be decisively dealt with.

“It needs to be emphasised that the level of responsibility and patriotism demonstrated by politicians and their loyalists are critical to the integrity of the electoral process and the credibility of the outcome,” he said.

Monguno while urging Nigerians to resist the temptation of being used as cannon folders during the elections by ‘misguided and desperate politicians.”, charged all security agencies to protect citizens’ rights, within the law.

He also charged them to work in harmony and within professional and legal dictates, and shall collaborate effectively with the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in guaranteeing a successful 2019 General Elections. 

As part of efforts in ensuring a peaceful elections, Monguno informed that the ICCES meeting was convened to evaluate the level of preparedness of the Nigeria Police Force as the lead election security agency, the Armed Forces, and other complementary security agencies towards the general elections. 

Also speaking, the Co chairman of the ICCES and chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) Mahmood Yakubu assured that the commissions preparations are on course.
He said: “We are looking forward to a collaborative relationship with security agencies to ensure that processes are protected and the right of voters to vote are safeguarded, access for the media and observers guaranteed to ensure that the elections and outcomes are true reflections of the will of Nigerians”.

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