By Augustine Ehikioya
Towards successful conduct of the 2023 elections, the Chief of Army Staff, 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 (AOR).
He gave the order while formally flagging off the commencement of Operation SAFE CONDUCT in all NA Divisions and formations across the country.
This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General, Onyema Nwachukwu, and made available to Security Watch Africa (SWA).
The Army Chief, in the statement, also reiterated the unwavering resolve of the NA to strictly adhere to its constitutional role by supporting the Nigeria Police Force, which is the lead security agency in the 2023 elections security architecture.
The statement reads “He charged the Commanders to identify and dominate flash points in their AORs, adding that troops must be alert, proactive and operate jointly with sister services and other security agencies during the elections.
“The COAS, 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,” it added.
The COAS also maintained that all deployments must be joint and in support of the Nigeria Police Force.
He observed that all eyes are on the security agencies, and that the citizens expect nothing short of free and fair elections.
“You must therefore refrain from hobnobbing with political gladiators and maintain your apolitical stance”, he averred.
The statement recalled that the COAS in an effort to ensure that the laws of the land and personal liberties and rights of citizens are not compromised, “recently approved the Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Nigerian Army personnel during Operation SAFE CONDUCT 2023.”