Dasuki Wants General Elections Postponed

National Security Adviser (NSA) to President Goodluck Jonathan, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), said he wants February’s general elections postponed to allow the electoral commission more time to distribute biometric voting cards to millions of voters who are yet to get their cards.
Dasuki spoke in London at a briefing on “Nigeria’s Security: Insurgency, Elections and Coordinating Responses to Multiple Threats”, organised by the Chatham House.
While speaking on the nation’s level of preparedness ahead of next month’s general elections, Dasuki said that adequate security measures had been put in place to forestall election and post election violence.
He said that the 2011 post-election violence stemmed from people’s perception, adding: “So, we have commenced sensitisation on ballot without bullets, to discourage the youth from violence.
“Similarly, stakeholders in the election have signed an agreement known as the ‘Abuja Accord’ on non violence”, the NSA said.
He also addressed concerns over the 30 million people without permanent voter card, saying that it would be logical for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the election.
“These are my personal views, but if INEC can guarantee that it would provide the Permanent Voter Card ahead of the election, then it should go ahead”, Dasuki said.
He said that the claims were baseless and untrue while noting the various collaborative efforts between Nigeria and UK, U.S., France as well as Chad, among others, in tackling the insurgency.
“There are physical troops from Chad partnering with Nigeria, while the U.S., UK and France are offering assistance in capacity building and equipment supply”, he said.
The NSA also refuted claims on high level conspiracy in the army to prolong the insurgency, as well as lack of sophisticated equipment to fight the insurgents.
“The people peddling these stories were personnel who were not committed to the profession.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Nigeria was reported in some quarters to have declined global assistance to curb insurgency in the country,
“Rather than operate in line with the dictates of the job, they acted contrarily to the law and they have been court marshaled.’’
Fielding questions from participants on the Baga attack and Chibok girls, the National Security Adviser expressed government’s commitment in tackling the nation’s security challenges, noting that it would require a collaborative effort from Nigerians.
Newsmen report that the event attracted participants from the international community, academia and media.
Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, is an independent policy institute which organises briefings on global issues.