By Lateef Ibrahim Abuja
As the 2019 general elections draw closer, the National Security Agency (NSA), General Babagana Munguno, rtd, yesterday, sternly, warned, security operatives against any act of infraction or misconduct during the 2019 general elections.
Munguno gave the warning at the meeting of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) which took place at the National headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja.
The NSA is also a Co-Chair of Inter Agencies consultative on Elections Security.
Monguno specifically urged security personnel to deliver their mandate in a very responsible manner demonstrating democratic values and professional ethics of members of the society.
In the words of the NSA, “There are Code of Conducts for all security agencies and we will all be held responsible for any infraction during elections.
“It is also important for us to understand that operating outside the confine of legality or legitimacy will be viewed very seriously.
“The forthcoming elections, especially 2019 general elections have to be conducted in such a manner that not only on wider Nigerians society but indeed the National community should be able to perceive us in a very positive manner”, he said.
The NSA assured that there would be full enforcement of electoral laws.
He admonished the security agencies to come up with means to surmount negative trends such as hate speeches that may incite the public or affect peaceful atmosphere of 2019 general elections.
He added, “Again there will be issue of vote buying and vote selling, these are concerns that we have to look into collectively and begin to deal with whatever problems that might arise from these unfavourable acts.
“Anybody found complicity in any situation will of course have to bear the consequences on his own. It is very important for you to pass this message down the line to all you operatives.
“Any coloration or complicity by any of your staff will be viewed with all seriousness it deserved. I don’t need to over emphasised that”, he said.
Speaking at the same meeting, the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu
emphasised the pertinent need for the commission to work with security agencies in order to secure the environment for the INEC to conduct elections.
The INEC Chairman, who is equally a Co-Chair of ICCES, stated categorically that elections cannot be conducted in an atmosphere of rancour.
Accordingly to Prof Yakubu, “In fact, the electoral Act, especially section 26, empowers the commission to suspend election on account of violence or threat of violence, therefore election can only hold when we have secured environment to hold the election.
“So, we will continue to partner and continue to work with ICCES. As we approach the 2019 general elections, our meetings are going to become more frequent and regular”, he assured The INEC Chairman pointed out that only good election was good for the country, while bad election would be a recipe for disaster; “we don’t pray for it.”