The Nigerian Army in Lagos has warned persons and political thugs planning to thwart the 2023 presidential elections to perish the idea as they will not be spared by soldiers deployed to monitor the system.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division Major General Obinna Ajunwa who gave the warning, said the 2023 election was for Nigerians, and not the armed forces, as the military was highly apolitical. He said the military was ready to work with whoever that was elected as president, adding: “Ours is to make sure that nobody’s ambition will consume the life of anybody.”
General Ajunwa urged Nigerians to shun their personal desires and look out for how the whole society would benefit by making sure that nobody died during the election.
He warned political thugs and persons being used by politicians to thwart the system to desist from doing so, warning that he might not be there to see what would happen with such persons.
General Ajunwa called on the media to support the security agencies to perform their constitutionally assigned duties especially at this period to achieve the government objective of a free and fair election.
He said: “As those who are responsible for the physical security of persons during this period, we are not sleeping; you can see that over time we have been shaking the system to make sure that they know that we are around and we will continue to shake it and make sure that they are uncomfortable; we will continue to keep them guessing.
“We have not even started; by the time we start, you will see that we are only there to after ensuring that no innocent person dies because somebody wants to become somebody.”
He promised that Nigerian Army personnel deployed to monitor
the system would ensure the safety of law-abiding persons who would cast their votes and either go home or wait peacefully to ensure their votes counted.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division spoke during a media parley with Defence Correspondents saying that there was no better security than preventing violent occurrences before they happened. And that could only be achieved by disseminating appropriate information at the right time.
He said: “So, I urge the media to work with security agencies by sharing timely information so that we can move in and take preemptive action to make sure that no life is lost.
“I employ all of us to work together to give the nation an election that is worth the name democracy.”
Ajunwa said that this was the last election that President Muhammadu Buhari would conduct and “he had requested for all of us directly or indirectly to help achieve a credible election.
“The president has requested for all of us to help achieve a free and fair election so that his legacy can continue to ascend that position.
“As a statesman, he has desired to give us a credible election, having signed the new Electoral Act, and told us in explicit terms what his desires are for the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“So, I urge us to work together for a free and fair election to be achieved, free of violence and rancour,” the GOC said.
He said that the society could contribute positively to ensure that the election went smoothly through the concept of ‘see something, say something’ which was for the purpose of enhancing security.
“Therefore, by extension, we are working for the security of the nation so, the security of the election is for all of us and not just for the Armed Forces alone.
“The Armed Forces are apolitical and we are going to work with whoever is elected by the masses for us to work with.”