Thursday 30 August 2012

NSA predicts violence in 2015 elections

National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, on Wednesday warned that there could be violence in the country during the 2015 general elections.

According to him, this is based on the volatile situation in the country.

The NSA however said the violence would come “with a different angle”, calling on security agencies to avoid post-election violence in the country.

Dasuki said this at the opening of a two-day workshop with the theme ‘Security Challenges of Election Management: Matters Arising from 2011 and Participating in 2015’, organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung Foundation.

The retired army Colonel said, “The competition among politicians may be more intense in 2015; so more tension should be expected. Nigeria can get anything right when there is the determination and political will on the part of critical stakeholders to achieve success. No two elections are the same; 2015 is likely to bring new challenges.

“There could be possible violence but with a different angle to it, not only post-election but before and during, because of the prevailing security situation, unless the security situations get better before then.

“There are likely to be challenges, however well- prepared a country may be, especially in the provision of election security. The unexpected could happen; a good example was the post-election violence, (in 2011), which was not expected, especially in context and magnitude.

“Thorough preparation and coordination of information, strategies and operations among various security agencies would always be necessary for successful conduct of elections. The security agencies, INEC, politicians and the general populace must harmonise their views, be on the same page, as in the case of the 2011 general elections.

“The election must be free, fair and credible so that Nigeria could get out of a long cycle of disputed and not so credible elections. This was the message drummed into everyone’s ears before the elections.”

Dasuki added that if security agencies could “bring to bear, the same level of commitment, dedication, rehearsals, preparedness, coordination, motivation and attitude to succeed, which Iam confident they would”, there may not be much problems.

Also speaking, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, said a good security arrangement was important for any democratic success.

The IG listed the security challenges facing the country to include the menace of Boko Haram in the North- East; the Niger Delta crisis; kidnapping and armed robbery in the South-East; and ethno-religious/political crisis in Plateau State.

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