No one can stop 2023 general elections from holding – NSA

….Warns governor over use of thugs to disrupt campaigns

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno on Thursday, assured that no one can stop the 2023 general elections from holding.

The NSA who was reacting to recent acts of arsons carried out on offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), while speaking at the 60th edition of State House Media briefing organized by the Presidential Media team, vowed to ensure that perpetrators of such acts “ are brought to book”, adding that “security agencies were currently on the trail of perpetrators of the crime,” Monguno said

“We must understand that democracy can only be sustained through a free, fair and credible election, which is only possible under an atmosphere of peace. So, no amount of security threats will stop the 2023 general elections from taking place as planned as President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to deliver a free, fair and transparent election.”

Munguno, while reviewing recent attacks on INEC offices in some parts of the country, said the “hoodlums will be hunted down and punished, warning the federal government will not tolerate the destruction of its facilities
He also appealed to religious leaders and community heads to join hands with the government to protect critical infrastructures in their domain from being destroyed by the hoodlums

“Do these hoodlums realize that these facilities are built with tax payers funds? You cannot destroy essential infrastructures and hope to go free, how? In a normal society this is not allowed and this is a normal society,” he said.

“Security agencies have been given directives to deal with this issue and they know what to do. You can do whatever you want, but please, do not cross the red lines.”

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Also reacting to questions on politicians stifling their opponents campaign activities, Munguno warned state governors using thugs to prevent opposition from carrying out campaign in their domains, to desist from the act as security agencies will soon come after them as well.

He disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has given orders to forestall such acts.

According to the NSA, when the law enforcement agencies begin their manhunt, there will be no hiding place for the perpetrators.

Monguno, who was reacting to reports of state governors implementing policies to prevent opposition parties from campaigning their states, blamed the action on what he called “inferiority complex”.

He called on the politicians to desist from hiring thugs to disrupt such campaigns, adding that “ Governors doing so do not believe in themselves.”

“If you cannot curtail your thugs, security agencies will be forced to do that for you. Call your thugs to order,” he said.

He warned that any person that engages in any unpalatable activity would be made to face the wrath of the law, as such actions were likely to heighten insecurity

While cautioning the governors to restrain their thugs, he said that President Muhammadu Buhari has given clear directives that the 2023 election must be free, fair and credible.

The NSA warned the governors to “call their capoon regime to order because when we move, there will be no hiding place.”