By Yomi Kareem
National Security Adviser, NSA, Babagana Monguno, has called on the country’s security agencies to monitor and profile politicians who exhibit tendencies to subvert the electoral process ahead of the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections and the 2023 general polls.
The NSA, who was represented by Mr Sanusi Galadima, at the second regular quarterly Consultative meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election security, ICCES, at the INEC’s headquarters Abuja, over the weekend, expressed concern over the growing uncertainty heralding the conduct of party primaries for 2023 elections.
He posted that this is in addition to the unabated spate of violence that threatened the upcoming off cycle gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun States, arising from internal party wrangling, increasing acrimony and bickering amongst political actors as well as the inability of various contending political blocs to amicably resolve differences in line with democratic tenets.
According to the NSA, in his words; “The above disturbing development has already culminated in intense power play capable of heightening unnecessary political tension across the country. More worrisome is the unguarded utterances of some highly respected individuals and groups which more often than not amplify divisive narratives to the detriment of national security and stability.
“Accordingly, heads of security and law enforcement agencies have been task to step up close monitoring and profiling of political actors no matter highly placed who exhibit tendencies to subvert the electoral process, even as thugs and their sponsors would equally be trailed for possible arrest and prosecution,” he said.
Monguno urged INEC to enjoin political parties to consistently abide by prescribed rules as outlined in their respective manifestoes. As this is to significantly reduce areas of conflict and ensure a peaceful atmosphere for a hitch free off-cycle and general election.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Chairman, maintained that the general security situation in the country and its impact on the electoral process is a source of concern to the Commission, but however confident that with nine months to the 2023 general election, there is enough time to respond to the security challenges and secure the nation for elections to take place nationwide.
“We wish to reassure the security agencies that we will continue to work cooperatively with you to ensure the success of all forthcoming elections and electoral activities,” Prof. Yakubu said.
He maintained that the Commission has tasked its Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, to provide basic data on areas of security challenges in their States, including citizens living in Internally Displaced Persons, IDP camps.