Polls: We ‘re apolitical, won’t molest, intimidate you – security agencies

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The Nigerian Military, intelligence and security agencies, yesterday, reiterated their neutrality in the general elections, insisting that they will remain apolitical in their engagements in the general elections.

The Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security and intelligence agencies also said they were committed to a violence free elections and appealed to all Nigerians eligible to vote to carry out their civic responsibility and vote for candidates of their choice without any fear of molestation by any person or group.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Service Chiefs, Inspector General of Police, Director General of Directorate of State Services,DSS, and the Director General of National Intelligence Agency,NIA,at a joint press conference, yesterday,at the Defence Headquarters,Abuja, however,warned that “the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies will not tolerate any act that is likely to cause security breaches before, during and after the elections, and will deal decisively with these acts irrespective of those involved.”

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin,who read a prepared speech on behalf of others,also raised the alarm of plans by some people to illegally use uniforms of military and paramilitary agencies to impersonate security and law enforcement agencies.

According to him,the people had also perfected plans for “illegal possession and use of firearms to intimidate and harass members of the public; and other acts likely to cause security breaches.”

“We are not unaware of plans to illegally use uniforms of military/paramilitary agencies to impersonate security and law enforcement agencies; illegal possession and use of firearms to intimidate and harass members of the public; and other acts likely to cause security breaches.

“Let me warn that the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies will not tolerate any act that is likely to cause security breaches before, during and after the elections, and will deal decisively with these acts irrespective of those involved,”General Olonisakin warned.

He said the press conference was a fallouts of the meeting of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and security and intelligence agencies, earlier in the day.

“ In the last few months, various security agencies have been reviewing their strategies to ensure adequate security and protection for all Nigerians and other nationals living in Nigeria before, during and after the General Elections in February and March 2019.

“This is in line with our various constitutional responsibilities.

“There have also been several inter-agency collaborations and harmonization of these strategies.

“The meeting we have just had involved the heads of these agencies to ensure we further harmonize our strategies to provide adequate security for the smooth conduct of the general elections,”he explained.

While noting that:”In two days’ time, the 2019 General Elections will begin,”he said “the Nigerian Government, the people of Nigeria as well as the international community are all desirous of a free, fair, transparent, credible and most importantly, violence free elections.”

“Mr President, Commander-in-Chief has also told us in clear terms in our meeting with him, of his commitment to free, fair and credible elections.

“I wish to say that the Armed Forces of Nigeria as well as other security and intelligence agencies are also committed to a violence free elections and that all Nigerians eligible to vote are able to carry out their civic responsibility and vote for candidates of their choice without any fear of molestation by any person or group,”he said.

He reiterated warning:”We are not unaware of plans to illegally use uniforms of military/paramilitary agencies to impersonate security and law enforcement agencies; illegal possession and use of firearms to intimidate and harass members of the public; and other acts likely to cause security breaches.

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