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Invasion of collation centres : Buratai, Adamu refuse to speak

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met behind closed doors with Service Chiefs and heads of security agencies at presidential villa, Abuja.

The meeting which was meant to brief the President who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigeria Armed Forces on security situation in the country especially the recent killings in Kaduna, and the started about 11am and lasted to 1:30pm.

It was expected that heads of security agencies would brief Mr. President on security situation in the country, including the recent killings in Kaduna state and the alleged military invasion of some collation centres in the last March 9 governorship and house of assembly elections which has attracted national and international condemnation.

Though the State House correspondents had waited to hear from the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on the accusation leveled against the Nigerian Army by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of meddlesomeness in Rivers State elections, he declined to entertain questions.

Asked by reporters to react to the allegation, Buratai referred them to the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu as he said, “The IG will speak.”

However, when the IGP was approached, he too declined to speak saying that there would be no official briefing.

Recall that INEC had 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.

The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said the action which took place during the March 19 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.

Tuesday’s security meeting came barely four days to the supplementary election scheduled for some states with inconclusive gubernatorial polls.

Even though its agenda was not known, it may have discussed security strategy for the elections.

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At the meeting were Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonishakin, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Buratai, Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok-Ete Ibas, and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, are present.

Also present include the National Security Adviser, Major Gen. Babagana Monguno, Director of National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ahmed Abubakar, the Director General, Department of Security Service, DSS, Yusuf Bichi, the Acting Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu and the Chief of Defence Intelligence and the Minister of Defence, Brigadier Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali.

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