Elections: NSA warns politicians against arming thugs
By Joseph Edeh
The National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Monguno, has warned politicians against arming political thugs during the general elections.
Monguno gave the warning at a meeting with members of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) on Tuesday in Abuja.
“Government will demonstrate zero tolerance to political thuggery and illegal bearing of fire-arms.
“I wish to restate that our doors are always open to collaborate and act proactively to maintain the sanctity of Nigeria,” he said.
He said that the Nigeria Police Force had instructed all state commands to arrest anyone who bore fire-arms illegally or engaged in acts of violence during the elections.
Monguno said that intelligence reports had indicated plans by some individuals and groups to instigate violence during and after the upcoming elections.
“Reports reaching me has revealed that some individuals that are uncertain of their fate in the elections are plotting to participate in widespread violence aimed at scuttling the polls,” he said.
He explained that the strategy of the politicians was to cause crises that could degenerate into endless crises for government and the citizens.
“There are indications that these unscrupulous elements are already mobilising merchants of violence, including armed bandits and terrorists to cause problems cross the country.
“I will refrain from being specific on some of the plots that have been uncovered, though the security agencies will spare no efforts in dealing appropriately with any act that can destabilise the nation.
“In this regard, we owe Nigerians the duty to protect and preserve their lives and property regardless of our individual or group aspirations,” he said.
He said that no pseudo or quasi security outfits, such as vigilante groups would be allowed to participate in election security duty.
He said that government was doing all within its powers to create a suitable environment for the conduct of peaceful elections in the country.
Monguno said that the security agencies remained neutral, contrary to insinuations by mischief makers.
He said that the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) had organised refresher courses for its personnel that would be deployed for election duty.
He said that ONSA and all government security agencies were ready to cooperate and partner with state governors to deliver on security.
Monguno said that security agencies were working round the clock to ensure that the elections were free of the usual after- election violence.