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) for the successful conduct of the forthcoming 2023 General elections.
Gen Yahaya handed down the directive while formally flagging off the commencement of Operation SAFE CONDUCT in all NA Divisions and formations across the country.
The charge was contained in a statement made available to the media on 14 February 2023, the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu.
He said the Army Chief reiterated the unwavering resolve of the NA to strictly adhere to its constitutional role supporting the Nigeria Police, which is the lead security agency in the 2023 elections security architecture.
He charged the Commanders to identify and dominate flash points in their AORs, adding that troops must be alert, and proactive and operate jointly with sister services and other security agencies during the elections.
Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, while directing the Commanders to deploy requisite logistics to ensure security and safety of citizens during the elections, urged them to be professional, and apolitical and adhere strictly to the 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. The COAS maintained that all deployments must be joint and in support of the Nigeria Police.
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.
It will be recalled that the Chief of Army Staff (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.