Few days to the commencement of voting in the 2023 General Elections, the Chief Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant-General Faruk Yahaya, has directed all General Officers Commanding (GOCs) and other formation commanders of the Nigerian Army (NA) to ensure conducive and secure atmosphere in their Areas of Responsibility (AORs).
Yahaya is tasking these key lieutenants of his with the responsibility of contributing selflessly towards the successful conduct of the coming 2023 elections.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu, stated in a press release on Tuesday that Yahaya handed down the directive while formally flagging off the commencement of Operation Safe Conduct in all NA Divisions and other formations across the country.
The COAS had reiterated the unwavering resolve of the NA to strictly adhere to its constitutional role by supporting the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) – the lead security agency in the 2023 elections security architecture.
He charged the commanders to identify and dominate flash points in their AORs.
Troops, according to him, must be alert, proactive and operate jointly with sister services and other security agencies during the elections.
Yahaya, while directing the commanders to deploy requisite logistics to ensure security and safety of citizens during the elections, urged them to be professional, apolitical and adhere strictly to extant Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement guiding personnel throughout their operations.
He warned that any infraction on the provisions of the Code of Conduct will not be treated with levity.
The COAS maintained that all deployments must be joint and in support of the Nigeria Police.
He observed that all eyes are on the security agencies, and that the citizenry expects nothing short of free and fair elections.
“You must, therefore, refrain from hobnobbing with political gladiators and maintain your apolitical stance,” Yahaya said.
Instructively, the COAS has relentlessly pushed efforts to ensure that the laws of the land and personal liberties and rights of citizens are not compromised.
The News Room recalls that, pursuant to this ideal, Yahaya had in 2022 approved the Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Nigerian Army personnel during Operation Safe Conduct 2023.
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