Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Military Chiefs Meet With Buhari In Aso Rock

President Muhammadu Buhari, Service chiefs and heads of security agencies yesterday met for about three hours at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

It was learnt that the security chiefs were at the State House to brief the President on security situation in the country, including the recent killings in Kaduna State.

There were speculations that the meeting also discussed the supplementary elections in Sokoto, Plateau, Benue, Kano and Adamawa states. The first ballot was declared inconclusive in those states.

None of the security chiefs disclosed his mission to reporters after the meeting with the President.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai declined to speak on the accusation levelled against the Army by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of meddlesomeness in Rivers State elections.

Asked to react to the allegation, the COAS simply referred reporters to the Inspector-General (IG) of Police, Mohammed Adamu, saying “the IG will speak.”

The IG also declined comment when approached. He simply said there would be no official briefing.

INEC condemned what it described as the role played by some soldiers and armed gangs in Rivers State, which it said led to the disruption of the electoral process.

Its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information & Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said the action which took place during the March 9 election was an attempt to subvert the will of the people.

The commission based its allegation on part of the submissions made by its fact-finding committee which assessed the situation in Rivers State.

But the military said on Monday that the blame apportioned to its men was misdirected as the electoral umpire failed to consider the circumstances that led to military intervention.

Faulting the INEC position in a statement by Deputy Director, Army Public Relations in Charge of 6 Division, Nigerian Army, the military said the remarks credited to INEC smacked lack of trust by an institution.

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Gabriel Olonishakin, COAS Buratai, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar and IG Adamu, attended the meeting yesterday.

Others are: National Security Adviser (NSA) Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Director Ahmed Abubakar, Department of Security Service (DSS) Director-General Yusuf Bichi and the Chief of Defence Intelligence and Defence Minister Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali.

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