By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Chief Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has directed all General Officers Commanding (GOCs) and other formation commanders to ensure conducive and secure atmosphere for the 2023 elections.
Yahaya gave the directive while flagging off Operation Safe Conduct in all army divisions and formations across the country.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
The army chief reiterated the resolve of the Nigerian army to adhere to its constitutional role by supporting the Nigeria Police, which is the lead security agency in the security architecture of the 2023 elections.
He charged the commanders to identify and dominate flash points in their Areas of Responsibility (AOR).
He added that troops must be alert, proactive and operate jointly with sister services and other security agencies during the elections.
Yahaya also directed the commanders to deploy requisite logistics to ensure security and safety of citizens during the elections.
He 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 would not be treated with levity.
The COAS maintained that all deployments must be joint and in support of the police, adding that all eyes were on the security agencies, and that the citizens expected nothing short of free and fair elections.
“You must, therefore, refrain from hobnobbing with political gladiators and maintain your apolitical stance,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the COAS had in 2022 approved the Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Nigerian Army personnel during Operation Safe Conduct 2023.
The COAS said it was part of efforts to ensure that the laws of the land and personal liberties and rights of citizens were not compromised. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Salif Atojoko