Polls: Army insists on neutrality

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The Nigerian Army has reaffirmed its stance to remain neutral in the February 16 and March 2 general elections in the country.
Major-General Jamil Sarham, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, gave the assurance at a news conference in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
Represented by Col. Aminu Iliyasu, Spokesman of the Division, Sarham said troops participating in the elections had undergone several trainings on their expected roles in the general elections.
 
“We also issued the troops with the code of conduct for armed forces of Nigeria during elections as well as rules of engagement for Operation Safe Conduct in 2019 general elections.
 
“These (code of conduct) pamphlets are specifically produced and distributed to each personnel as a guide to troops’ conduct during elections.
 
“We wish to reaffirm the neutrality of troops as well as direct them to continue to remain apolitical as they conduct their assigned duties professionally,” he said.
 
Sarham said that severe sanctions awaits any soldier,  no matter how highly placed, caught fraternising with political parties to influence outcome of the elections.
 
The GOC warned hoodlums and trouble makers against carrying out acts capable of truncating the peaceful conduct of the polls.
 
“It has come to our notice that some miscreants are planning to use military-like fatigue dress, and pretending to be our troops to perpetrate carnage at polling centres.
 
“This plan has failed as no soldier is allowed within the vicinity of any polling area. Anyone seen in military uniform in a polling unit is an impostor and should be treated as such.
 
“Anyone with useful information about any security breach should please call 09027771482 immediately,” he said.
 
Meanwhile, Sarham said that the division in partnership sister security agencies and would on Thursday, Feb. 14, conduct a Confidence Building Patrol within Port Harcourt metropolis.
 
According to him, the exercise will be used to sensitize and reassure the public of synergy among security agencies in the general elections.
 
“Consequently, residents and commuters in Port Harcourt and environs are hereby informed of troops’ movement along major routes in the city,” he said.

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