National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Monguno (retd), has warned security operatives against any act of infraction or misconduct during the 2019 general elections.
He gave the warning at the meeting of Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security held at the National Headquarters of Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday in Abuja.
Monguno, who is also Co-chair of ICCESS, urged security personnel to deliver their mandate in a very responsible manner, demonstrating democratic values and professional ethics to members of the society.
He said: “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 confines 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 international community should be able to perceive us in a very positive manner.”
Mongunu added that there would be full enforcement of electoral laws.
He advised security agencies to come up with means to surmounting negative trends such as hate speeches that may incite the public or affect peaceful atmosphere during the general elections.
He said: “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 colloration or complicity by any of your staff will be viewed with all seriousness it deserved. I don’t need to over-emphasise that.”
Monguno said that as the 2019 elections drew closer, there would be need for security agencies to meet more frequently to deal with issues that would arise and cause unpleasant situation before, during and immediately after the elections.
He said: “The idea is for us to streamline all areas that need to be looked at and begin a training session for all security operatives who will provide security during the elections.”
He also advised security agencies to share intelligence and information to help INEC conduct credible elections.
In his remarks, INEC Chairman and Co-Chair of ICCES, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the importance of the commission to work with security agencies was crucial.
According to him, it is to secure the environment for the commission to conduct elections, and elections cannot be conducted in an atmosphere of rancour.
Yakubu said: “In fact, the Electoral Act, especially Section 26, empowers the commission to suspend election on account of violence or treat of violence, therefore election can only hold when we have secured environment.
“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.’’
Yakubu pointed out that good election was good for the country, while bad election would be a recipe for disaster; “we don’t pray for it’’.
He stressed the need for members of the commission to continue to work together to address anticipated challenges.
He said: “The nation expects that we should do so, and once we do so, there be fewer problems during elections.”
Yakubu also urged security agencies not to condone vote-buying in the September 22 governorship election in Osun.
He said: “On our part, we will do whatever we need to do to ensure that we find solutions to this challenge, including the re-administration of our polling units.
“I want to register our commitment to credible elections. We will continue to partner security agencies.”