The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has met with the heads of Security Agencies and the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, over preparations for the upcoming general election rescheduled for March 28 and April 11, 2015.
- The meeting was held behind closed-doors at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city
- The Chairman of INEC said it went well
- Professor Jega says the preparations for the elections are going on well
- Chief of Army Staff says north-east operations were reviewed
- Army Chief says Chibok girls
The meeting was held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja behind closed-doors.
The Chairman of the INEC, was the first to come out of the meeting, but when reporters approached him to get details of the meeting, he refused to speak about his presentation at the Security Council meeting.
He said: “I believe it went well”. Professor Jega also said preparations for the elections were going on well.
The Security Chiefs on their part were also expected to brief the President on how prepared they were and their guarantee for the safety of lives, property and election materials during and after the polls.
After the meeting, the Nigerian Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah, told reporters that the Council reviewed the north-east operations, particularly in the last three weeks and renewed its confidence in the Nigerian Armed Forces.
“You know Yobe and Adamawa States have been liberated completely and we look forward to the reinstatement of structures of government and governance. I am also sure you know that in Borno State, out of the 27 local governments, we have three local governments remaining – Abadam, Kalabaldi and Gwoza – and we are optimistic that with time we will liberate those local governments,” he said.
“War is war”
Responding to questions on whether there were discussions on the forth-coming elections, General Minimah said: “I am not competent to speak on that matter. “INEC is still there, INEC has to re-access the situation and evaluate because the areas have been liberated, but I can also tell you that not all structures of governance have been reinstated and they will need to be reinstated so that citizens can go back to their areas and it is then I think they can execute their rights as voters. How soon? I don’t know”.
Chibok girls whereabouts
On whether the military will conclude operations in the north-east before the March 28 date for the polls, the Army Chief said: “War is war. It is our wish and we pray God gives that to us, but war is war. War sometimes is not fought on some platforms of permutations”.
He also gave clarifications about the whereabouts of the over 200 school girls kidnapped in Chibok Borno State, saying “no news for now. In all the liberated areas we have, we have also made enquiries but the truth is when the terrorists are running away they also run with their families, and those we have come in contact have not made any comments suggesting that Chibok girls were there and taken away.
“But we are optimistic that as it becomes closer the territory is becoming elusive to them we will get further details on that”.
At the meeting were the Vice President Namadi Sambo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Ayim Pius, Chief of Staff to the President, General Jones Arogbofa, (Rtd) National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, Attorney-General of the Federation; Mr Mohammed Adoke, Minister of foreign affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, Minister of Police Affairs, Jelil Adesiyan and the Minister of interior, Mr Abba Morro.
Others are Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Kenneth Minimah, Chief of Air staff Air Vice Marshall Adeola Amosu, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin, Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba.
It was also attended by the heads of the Department of State Security and the National Intelligence Agency.