Bayelsa Guber: Army commander charges troops to create conducive environment
By Matthew Atungwu
Major General Jamal Abdussalam, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army and the Land Component Commander of the Joint Task Force, South-South, Operation DELTA SAFE, has directed troops to make sure that a conducive atmosphere is created in Bayelsa State to facilitate a peaceful election.
This was contained in a statement by the Acting Deputy Director, 6 Division Army Public Relations, Major Danjuma Jonah Danjuma.
The GOC issued the directive on Monday in an address to military personnel and representatives of other security services for the execution of Exercise SAFE CONDUCT 2023 in Bayelsa State.
While addressing the troops, Major General Abdussalam charged them to ensure the good people of Bayelsa State came out in their numbers to vote for candidates of their choice without any fear of intimidation.
This he said is one of the ways the Nigerian Army (NA) will support democracy to thrive in Nigeria.
“We must ensure that everywhere is safe and people are able to see sufficiently that we are fully on the ground to boost public confidence in the electoral process,” he said.
He further maintained that troops have been adequately briefed on the subsisting Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for the Elections, adding that they must conduct themselves in the most professional manner before, during, and after the election.
Major General Abdussalam warned that no form of complacency would be tolerated at all levels, calling on all the participating troops to ensure they do the needful as duty calls.
He also used the medium to call on would-be troublemakers to desist as troops are determined to close up on them during the election.
The GOC maintained that no stone would be left unturned to deal decisively with any individual or group, whose stock in trade is to cause mayhem or snatch ballot boxes during the elections.
“If the trouble makers feel they have 2 heads, they must be ready with the second head because the first head would surely be taken off,” he re-echoed.
The era of snatching ballot boxes, stuffing them, and indeed any form of electoral violence are gone. Adequate arrangements have been put in place to deal decisively with such threats, reassuring that in the days ahead, troublemakers would be positively identified, isolated, and dealt with.
Major General Abdussalam also said that flash points have been identified, and anything that will deny the electorates to exercise their franchise freely will be met with proportionate force.
He called on those thinking along that line to bury their thoughts, as security forces will go all out to ensure the election is conducted in a peaceful manner.
The GOC expressed special satisfaction with the level of cooperation between the NA and sister Services, which he claimed resulted in a joint route march that ended with a combined force demonstration in Yenagoa and the surrounding areas.
He went on to say that this effectively tells people who are determined to cause problems before, during, and after the poll to reconsider their course.
He reassured the good people of Bayelsa State that sufficient security had been installed to guarantee a nonviolent voting process.