Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, presided over the National Security Council which has the nation’s security chiefs and Minister of Defence in attendance.
The meeting, which held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja, came few days after Boko Haram insurgents killed a midwife with the International Committee of the Red Cross, Hauwa Liman.
In a statement later released to the press, Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, said the meeting discussed 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 states to enable the elections to be conducted peacefully and to further douse tension created by the outcome of the political parties’ primaries and some desperate persons to sabotage the electoral process.
The statement signed by the Public Relations Officer to the Hon. Minister of Defence, Col. Tukur Gusau said, “The meeting also discussed attempts 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.
“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 efforts of all security agencies to ensure that 2019 elections are hitch free and the need for continuous sensitisation of the public by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and regular meetings of relevant stakeholders including INEC, international/ local observers and the media ahead of the elections.”
Some of those who attended the meeting with the President were Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali; National Security Adviser, Babangana Monguno; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. 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, Ibrahim Idris.