The Nigerian Army Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, has instructed all formation and unit commanders to remain impartial during the upcoming gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections scheduled for Saturday.
In a statement, he urged them to avoid any form of inducement or enticement that could undermine the integrity of the polls and compromise the security of voters.
Yahaya emphasized the importance of ensuring a secure and safe environment that enables Nigerians to exercise their right to vote without fear of violence or intimidation.
Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, Director of Army Public Relations, issued a statement on Thursday indicating that Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya made these remarks in a speech to formation and unit commanders nationwide.
It read, “The COAS directed commanders to ensure that troops remain professional and apolitical during the forthcoming governorship and Houses of Assembly elections across the nation.
“Yahaya commended the troops for their overall performance in the provision of security during the last polls and advised them to shun all forms of inducement, enticement, or cajoling that could compromise the security of the polls.
“He added that a secure and safe atmosphere must be provided for the citizenry to exercise their civic responsibility of choosing their leaders.”
The statement also quoted Yahaya as urging troops to comply with the regulations outlined in the Code of Conduct for Operation Safe Conduct, cautioning that any violation of the guidelines would result in severe consequences.
“He urged the commanders to intensify efforts at providing security support for the elections and be ready to respond promptly to any emergency situation while prioritising the protection of key national infrastructure,” the statement added.
The statement further noted that the COAS reminded his commanders of their oath of allegiance to protect the sovereignty of Nigeria and emphasized that the Nigerian Army must be perceived as an institution that upholds and safeguards the country’s democracy.