2019: Disgruntled elements stockpiling arms, say Service Chiefs

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday met with the nation’s security chiefs to assess the security situation across the country.

At the meeting held behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the security chiefs reportedly raised concerns over the possible breakdown of law and order before, during and after the 2019 general election.

Col. Tukur Gusau, the Public Relations Officer to the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, disclosed this in a statement issued at the end of the meeting.

According to the statement, the meeting with the President started by discussing the general overview of the security situation in the country as it relates to the conduct of the forthcoming 2019 general election.

The meeting was said to have recommended the deployment of security agencies in states to enable the elections to be conducted peacefully and to further douse tension created by the outcomes of the political parties’ primaries and some desperate persons to sabotage the electoral process.

The statement read, “The meeting also discussed an attempt to put pressure on the electoral body by some notable personalities through demonstrations which were brought under control by combined efforts of security agencies to avoid being hijacked by hoodlums and bandits.

“Another area of security concern includes post-election violence, as desperate politicians may whip up ethno-religious sentiments to create a security situation in the country.

“Also of concern is the proliferation and stockpiling of weapons by some disgruntled elements with a desire to take the law into their own 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 and regular meetings of relevant stakeholders including the Independent National Electoral Commission, international/ local observers and the media ahead of the elections.”

Those who attended the meeting with the President included the minister; 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, among others.

The meeting was held a few days after Boko Haram insurgents killed a midwife with the International Committee of the Red Cross, Hauwa Liman.

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