Mansur Dan-Ali: Opposition stockpiling arms for 2019 polls

The Federal Government alleged on Thursday that the opposition was stockpiling arms in a bid to cause mayhem in the 2019 general elections.

It also said it had uncovered plans by the opposition to whip up ethno-religious sentiments against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the polls.

Mansur Dan-Ali, Minister of Defence, made these allegations shortly after the National Security Council meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Those in attendance at the meeting included the service chiefs, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali; National Security Adviser, Babangana Monguno; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.

Dan-Ali told State House correspondents: “The meeting started by discussing the general overview of the security situation in the country as it relates to the conduct of the forthcoming 2019 general elections.

“It recommended deployment of security agencies to states to enable the elections to be conducted peacefully and to further douse tension created by the outcome of the political parties’ primaries and attempts by some desperate persons to sabotage the electoral process.

“The meeting also discussed attempt to put pressure on the electoral body by some notable personalities through demonstrations which was brought under control by combined efforts of security agencies to avoid being hijacked by hoodlums and armed bandits.

“Another area of security concern includes post-election violence, as desperate politicians may whip up ethno-religious sentiments to create security situation in the country.

“Also of concern is the proliferation and stockpiling of weapons by some disgruntled elements with a desire to take laws into their hands at the slightest opportunity.

“The council called for the concerted efforts of all security agencies to ensure that 2019 elections are hitch-free and the need for continuous sensitization of the public by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and regular meetings of relevant stakeholders including INEC, international/local observers, and the media ahead of the elections.”

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