Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), has described as false reports that Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), scored the conduct of the November 16 governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states low, quoting him as saying things “unthinkable happened” during the elections.
In a statement made available to Daily Sun, the NSA said there is no way his office and Nigeria Police force would have opposing views following the Inter-Agencies Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) meeting, as it is not in their place to pass verdict on the conduct of the elections.
He said both agencies have condemned the unfortunate death of Mrs Salome Abuh, in Kogi State.
The statement read thus:
“Our attention has been drawn to media reports following the meeting of the Inter-Agencies Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) held in Abuja. The ICCES is an inter-agency platform through which the Office of the National Security Adviser supports election security coordination, identify challenges and strengthen national capacity to ensure the safety of the electoral process.
“The National Security Adviser did not condemn the gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States and is not in any position to do so. Furthermore, there is no difference between the position of the Nigeria Police Force and the Office of the National Security Adviser on the recent polls. Both agencies have condemned the unfortunate death of Mrs Salome Abuh, in Kogi State. “The Nigeria Police has already made arrests and all security agencies are working to identify other perpetrators of election violence for prosecution.
“Neither the ICCES nor the Office of the National Security Adviser are in a position to pass verdict over the validity of gubernatorial elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States as some reports suggest. Only the courts are empowered by law to determine issues arising from the conduct of the elections. The planning and management of the electoral process is a continuous undertaking and through the ICCES, we are identifying the challenges recorded in the recent polls and working with all stakeholders to ensure that the outcomes of future polls are improved.
“As emphasised during the ICCES meeting, the Office of the National Security Adviser will continue to work with law enforcement and security agencies involved in election security to identify gaps, strengthen our collective preparedness and ensure that future elections are safer and conducive. All aggrieved parties to any election are advised to resort to the election tribunals provided by law.”