Two security agencies, the Nigeria Police Force and the Department of State Security, on Wednesday, in Abuja, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to postpone next Saturday’s governorship election in Edo State.
They said the call was necessitated by the threat of those they referred to as “insurgents” and “extremists” to cause mayhem in the country between September 12 and 13.
Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Don Awunah; and Garba Abdullahi of the DSS, stated this at a short media briefing in Abuja.
At a news conference in Abuja on Wednesday, Don Awunah, police spokesman, and Garba Abdullahi, an agent of the DSS?, cited security concerns as the reason for the request.
“The Nigeria police and the DSS wish to inform the general public that credible intelligence availed to the agencies indicate plans by insurgent/extremist elements to attack vulnerable communities and soft targets with high population during the forthcoming Sallah celebrations between 12 and 13 September, 2016. Edo state is among the states being earmarked for these planned attacks by the extremists elements,” ?Awunah, who read a statement on behalf of the agencies, said.
“It is in regard of this that we are appealing to INEC, which has 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 terrorists 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 secure Nigeria now and always.”
The call of the security agencies is reminiscent of that of Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser (NSA), who asked INEC to shift the 2015 general election scheduled for February 14 ?by six weeks.
INEC, under Attahiru Jega, agreed, shifting the general election to March.