Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) at the end of a closed-doors meeting with the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, in Abuja, has expressed concerns over the proliferation of arms and ammunition in the country ahead of the February 16 election.
The chairman of the forum and governor of Zamfara State, Abdul’aziz Yari, who briefed correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, said that the governors were also alarmed by the spate of kidnapping across the country.
Yari said the meeting which also had heads of security agencies in attendance, recommended a stronger collaboration and intelligence sharing among security agencies to ensure that lives and properties are protected.
He disclosed that governors had also resolved to collaborate with security agencies to ensure that the elections are free, fair and credible.
The NGF chairman said: “Governors as major stakeholders, they (NSA and security agencies) seek our cooperation so that their job would be easier. We promised to do our best and ensure the election is free and credible. Not only that, we came through the ballot box and we are going through the same process to seek re-election and make sure that the election is free and is commended by the international community as they did in 2015.”
Yari debunked the allegation that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was planning to rig the election, saying that he had promised that the “election is not in any way do-or-die.”
The acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu, on his part, reassured Nigerians of a violence-free poll.
He assured further that the security agencies were ready for the election and would ensure that they mopped up illegal arms in the system, while assuring that the neutrality of the police would not be in doubt.
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Monguno, called the meeting to update the governors on the security situation in the country as it heads to the elections.
He had convened the meeting with the governors in order to get their buyin as regards the implementation of security measures for the smooth conduct of the elections.