Security agencies have been ordered by the Federal Government to monitor and profile key political actors ahead of the 2023 general elections, the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, said on Friday
According to him, the Federal Government was concerned about the growing uncertainty heralding the conduct of party primaries for 2023 elections.
The NSA, represented by Sanusi Galadima, stated this at a meeting of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security in Abuja organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
During the event, INEC expressed concern over the security situation in the country and its impact on the electoral process.
Monguno said, “This is in addition to the unabated spate of violence that threatened the upcoming off-cycle gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun states, arising from internal party wrangling, increasing acrimony and bickering amongst political actors as well as the inability of various contending political blocs to amicably resolves differences in line with democratic tenants.”
He said the disturbing development had already culminated in intense power-play capable of heightening unnecessary political tension across the country.
The NSA said, “More worrisome is the unguarded utterances of some highly respected individuals and groups which more often than not amplify divisive narratives to the detriment of national security and stability.
“Accordingly, heads of security and law enforcement agencies have been tasked to step up close monitoring and profiling of political actors, no matter highly placed, who exhibit tendencies to subvert the electoral process, even as thugs and their sponsors would equally be trailed for possible arrest and prosecution.”
The chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, said despite the general security situation in the country, the commission was confident that with nine months to the 2023 general elections, there was enough time to respond to the security challenges.
Yakubu warned the security agencies that “we must not wait until a few weeks to the election before we realise that time is not on our side and begin to seek for extension of timelines.”
While stressing that the time to act was now, the INEC boss reassured security agencies that INEC would continue to work with them to ensure the success of all forthcoming elections and electoral activities.