THE Presidency yesterday said it had, through intelligence reports, uncovered plot by some elements within the polity to cause widespread violence during and after the forthcoming general elections.
National Security Adviser Maj.-Gen. Babagana Mongouno (retd) sounded the alert at an emergency meeting with the Nigerian Governors Forum in Abuja yesterday.
The meeting, which had 21 state governors in attendance, was also attended by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu and the Director General of Department of State Services Mr. Yusuf Magaji Bichi.
Monguno said government is concerned that some individuals, who were not sure of their fate in the coming elections, were plotting widespread crises aimed at scuttling the conduct of the polls.
According to him, the present administration is taking proactive steps and measures to ensure a peaceful, free, fair and credible election, stressing that government has, therefore, banned the use of private security and vigilante groups across the country during the election.
He expressed concerns that the strategy being employed by people, who did not mean well for the country is to instigate crises that could snowball into endless crises for the present administration and the citizenry.
The NSA urged the governors to partner with security agencies to ensure that the conduct of the elections is peaceful and credible all over the country.
He assured that the security agencies would not only remain neutral, but maintain high level of professionalism and vigilance during elections.
However, Zamfara State governor and the NGF Chairman, Abdullaziz Yari said the Forum and President Buhari are on the same page that the coming election is not a do or die affair, asserting the Forum would partner with security agencies across the country to deliver a credible election.
“We are prepared to partner with security agencies to ensure that the process is credible and that the elections are acknowledge as free and fair by both local and international observers,” Yari said.
Yari, who was flanked by his colleagues while presenting a two-page communique issued by the forum at the end of the meeting, said the governors hailed the NSA Office for organising the meeting.
He, however, expressed concern over the spate of kidnapping and arms proliferation in the country.
He said: “Members of the governors’ forum are committed to collaborate with security agencies to ensure that the forthcoming elections are free, fair and conducted in an environment conducive for peaceful elections.
“Governors are, however, concern about the proliferation of arms and ammunition and the spate of kidnapping across the country.
“The forum recommends stronger collaboration and intelligence sharing among security agencies in the country to ensure that all lives and property are protected, regardless of individual or group affiliations.
“Lastly, we seek stronger synergy between governors as the chief security officers of their respective states and the heads of security agencies to strengthen preemptive measures of curbing election violence and other anti-social vices.”