• Citing security threats ahead Sallah celebration
BARELY 72 hours to the Edo State governorship election, the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), on Wednesday advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to consider the need for possible postponement of the date of the election
According to the duo, the request became necessary, ” in order to enable security agencies deal decisively with the envisaged terrorist threats” in some parts of the country including Edo State.
At a joint press conference in Abuja on Wednesday by the duo, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Donald Awunah, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), along with his DSS counterpart, Garba Abdullahi, said that the Nigeria Police and Department of State Services, wish to inform the general public that credible intelligence availed the agencies indicate plans by insurgent/extremist elements to attack vulnerable communities and soft targets with high population during the forthcoming Sallah celebrations between September 12 and 13, 2016.
“Edo State is amongst the states being earmarked for these planned attacks by the extremist elements.
” It is in regard of these that we are appealing to INEC, which has the legal duty to regulate elections in the country to consider the need for possible postponement of the date of the election in Edo State in order to enable security agencies deal decisively with the envisaged terrorist threats
“While the Police/DSS remain mindful of the inconveniences this request may cause the various political stakeholders, it is our strong resolve that security agencies need not be distracted from ensuring a peaceful and secured Nigeria now and always.
“The public would recall that similar threats were issued during the May Labour Day and Democracy Day celebrations as well as the Ed-el-fitr holidays in July, 2016.
“However, the security agencies were able to decisively disrupt and thwart the insurgents’ plan. In the same vein, while election is important, the security agencies cannot allow the peace of the country to be disrupted, and we will continue to remain vigilant and ensure consolidation of the successes gained in the current counter-insurgency fight.
“Members of the public are hereby assured that the security agencies will continue to remain focused and committed and are being enjoined to remain vigilant. The attention of the security agencies should be drawn to any observed unusual movements or actions by groups or individuals in their neighbourhoods.”
However, both the police and DSS spokesmen who addressed the press refused to entertain any question or clarification from the anxious journalists who wanted to know why it took the security so late that there would be security threat in Edo and a call for the postponement.
Recalled that the detained former NSA to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Sambo Dasuki, asked for the postponement of the last year’s general elections by six weeks and cited security and Boko Haram insurgents for reasons.
INEC is yet to react to the request as at the press time, but sources said that the commission’s headquarters has been temporarily relocated to Edo for the election slated for this Saturday.