By Kayode Olarewaju
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has described any individual, entity or group who intends to engage in violent activities during the forthcoming Presidential and National Assembly elections as enemies of democracy.
He warned that the Nigerian Army would not hesitate to deal with them appropriately.
Buratai made this known at a meeting with the Principal Staff Officers, General Officers Commanding and Brigade Commanders at the Nigerian Army Headquarters Abuja.
Speaking at the meeting, General Buratai said the Nigerian Army has zero tolerance for activities with potential to undermine the country’s nascent democracy.
“The Nigerian Army has since resolved to rise up, challenge and foil the attempt by anyone or group with violence proclivity to disrupt Saturday’s elections. We shall be on the alert, to see that their devilish, callous and retrogressive plots do not come to pass,” he said.
The Chief of Army Staff disclosed that many parts of the country has enjoined relative peace and calmness prior to the election, as a result of the launching of “Operation Safe Conduct”, “Python Dance III” and other military operations.
He said that the Army will remain apolitical and neutral before, during, and after the polls, noting: “I wish to reiterate the commitment of the men and officers of the Nigerian Army to discharge their responsibilities professionally, and responsively, in line with best global standards of military engagement.”
Buratai expressed dismay over the attitude of desperate politicians whose unguarded statements and utterances are already inciting the public against the Army.
He said the military would adopt a proactive measure to quickly nip in the bud electoral crimes inimical to national security.
The Army Chief warned his personnel to avoid fraternizing with formers army officers who are now aspiring for various political offices.
He pointed out that the army woyld not provide military escorts for politicians on election day.
He advised the army GOCs to quickly report incidents of security breach to the Nigerian Army security observation room for timely emergency response.