All are set for the Presidential election scheduled for this week’s Saturday, February 25 across the country, as the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari insisted that there is no going back.
At the end of a crucial meeting today, presided over by President Buhari, the National Security Council (NSC) unanimously resolved that February 25 D-Day for the scheduled polls.
At the meeting, the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Inspector General of Police (IGP), all the Service Chiefs, including Department of State Service (DSS), the Nigeria Intelligent Agency (NIA), the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Ministry of Justice and others spoke about their readiness to conduct peaceful, free and fair election.
Speaking to newsmen separately after the meeting at the Presidential villa, Justice minister, Abubakar Malami; IGP, Baba Alkali Usman and others, recalled the previous meetings by the President with vital segments of the Nigeria on the preparation for the conduct of the election.
Such segments, according to Malami, are the Federal Executive Council meeting (FEC), the Council of State that is made up of past Presidents and leaders.
“Now out of desire to further consolidate and appraise the comprehensive and general preparation of the system, relating to the conduct of the election, this meeting, which is third in series of appraising and reviewing the state of preparedness is called upon by the President, which is the National Security Council meeting.
“At the National Security Council meeting, briefings were made by security agencies generally and service chiefs. National Security Adviser made submission; Chief of Defense Staff made one; Chief of Army Staff made submission; Chief of Naval Staff made submission, Chief of Air Staff did; Inspector-General of Police, who incidentally is equally addressing you, made submission; Director-General, State Security Service did; and indeed DG NIA and CDI all made submissions.
“The summary and conclusion of all submissions was to the effect that the system is wholeheartedly ready for the conduct of the election and arising there from, the position of the government, the position of the President is to the effect that the election is holding of the 25th day of February, 2023 and Mr. President and the National Security Council are happy with the preparations on the ground and wholehearted arrangements are put in place in that direction.
“So we have been mandated, arising from the conclusions of the Security Council meetings to now brief you accordingly, but the summary of it, the conclusion of it, the resolution of the Council, is to the effect that the elections are holding and there is no going back about it.”
This was even as the IGP Baba Alkali said that the Council is satisfied that the Nigerian Police, leading other security agencies and also the members of the armed forces and intelligence community, are all prepared towards providing the umpire.
“We were able to inform Mr. President that security-wise we’ve been able to … this country in terms of threat analysis in terms of what we expect, what we need to do during, before and after the elections and the military have also pledged their commitment to support the process by providing the needed support at their own level, which requires different kinds of assistance in terms (because they may not be actually policing the election, but they are to ensure that no adversary, by whatever means, comes out to disrupt the process).
“The INEC has also told us that it has everything in its custody, the Chief of Air Staff has confirmed his continuous commitment to making sure that where his assistance is needed, everything that requires his assistance in terms of deployment of materials will be done. So also, the Chief of Naval Staff, who’s going to give the same support in the riverine area and we, on our part, are going to provide security like I briefed this press sometime last week that we expect we will be able to cover every polling station in this country with our men and we also expect to provide a motorized patrol to ensure that no adversary comes by any way to disrupt the electoral process.”