Nigeria’s security chiefs have raised an alarm that some groups with ‘evil intentions’ are planning to disrupt the 2019 general elections with a view to creating a stalemate, the presidency has said.

Malam Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity said in a statement on Thursday in a report of a briefing of journalists by the security chiefs.

According to him, security chiefs who briefed journalists at the State House Conference Centre in Abuja on Tuesday where the alarm about the plot to disrupt the election was raised include the Director-General of the Department of State Services, DSS, Lawal Daura, the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin.

Nigeria Security Chiefs

“The Security chieftains expressed the particular worry that there are groups in the country with evil designs to disrupt the processes leading to the 2019 general elections in the hope of creating a stalemate.

“They warned the media against the activities of some unregistered groups that have lately been active in trying to undermine critical institutions such the law-enforcement agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,” the presidential aide said of the meeting.

 He, however, added that the security chiefs gave assurances that the security situation in the country was within the control of the government and that this can be helped where the media reduced sensation from their daily coverage.

He quoted the security chiefs as saying the state of security in Nigeria “is not as bad as it is painted by the media.”

While seeking the support from the media towards the achievement of security for everyone, the heads of the agencies emphasized that sharing and coordination among security agencies and the media is essential to counter the ever-changing threats faced by the nation, Garba Shehu said.

Shehu also said in a special submission by the NIA, its Director-General during the briefing, appealed for media support to enable the agency to reform and remain focused on tackling the challenges of international nature facing the nation which included terrorism and violent extremism manifested in activities of Boko Haram (BH), ISIS, AQIM, Al Shabaab, Al Qaeda, Ansaru, among others.

He said the nation also faced threats from the human trafficking and illegal migration, smuggling, slavery, forced labour, prostitution, drugs trafficking, activities of drug cartels and their networks, as well as trafficking in small arms and light weapons (SALW).

The NIA DG was quoted by the presidential aide as saying, “Financial Crimes, identification of financial resources and properties suspected to be obtained by corrupt means belonging to Nigerians especially Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs); Herdsmen and Farmers' clashes, cattle rustling etc; Piracy and Militancy, particularly in the Niger Delta: Oil theft, illegal oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism; and Cyber Crimes/ Cybersecurity: activities of online fraudsters, hacking etc. will henceforth receive priority attention.”

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