INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu with international observers. File Source: Twitter
A team of foreign observers under the aegis of the Pan African Women Project International Observers have raised the alarm over classified information of a planned bomb attack on selected targets in Kano, Punch Metro reports.
The observers said they received emails from a source they did not make public, that a mosque and popular market were being targeted for the attack ahead of Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Publicity Secretary of the group, Ms. Mphoeue Keitseng, who hails from Botswana, said this at a joint press conference with their local partners in Kano, late on Tuesday.
The group also noted that from their interactions with stakeholders across Nigeria, they observed that the late release of funds to the Independent National Electoral Commission played a substantial role in events which led to the postponement of the elections.
Keitseng said, “Following our consultations with various stakeholders with regard to the recent postponement of Nigeria’s 2019 elections, the following are our observations:
“We have observed that the Nigerian government did not release funds to INEC on time, which resulted in supplies not being made for the production of materials for the elections. For instance, many observer groups up till now are yet to receive their accreditation tags, jackets and caps.
“Secondly, the state (Kano) as you see today is generally quiet, but there is classified information that reached us this evening.
“Please, note a planned bomb explosion in some sensitive locations in Kano by political thugs. These include: a general mosque and a popular market.
“We use this medium to speak to the Nigerian government to beef up security in all public areas such as mosques, churches and markets.
“Lastly, from the press briefing held in Abuja, which we attended, many sensitive materials as at this moment, have arrived INEC offices. However, we look forward to a successful 2019 elections.”
In response to a question as to how they came to the conclusion that funds were not released to INEC on time, she said, “The suppliers told us that they were only given deposits for the materials last month — January.”
Asked if the group has shared the security information with relevant Nigerian security agencies, the Head of the Mission, a Nigerian, Dr. Uben Udensi, said, “We just came into Kano, we intend to do so.
The group also urged the Nigerian government and all other stakeholders to take steps to ensure that Saturday’s polls are free, fair and credible.