By Bukar Bolori
The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 6 Division, Nigerian Army/Land Component Commander, Joint Task Force, South South, Operation DELTA SAFE, Major General Jamal Abdussalam has charged troops to ensure they create an enabling environment for the smooth conduct of a peaceful election in Bayelsa State.
According to Acting Deputy Director 6 Division Army Public Relations Major Danjuma Jonah Danjuma, he gave the charge, while addressing troops and members of other security agencies for the conduct of Exercise SAFE CONDUCT 2023 in Bayelsa State today, Monday, November 2023.
While addressing the troops, Major General Abdussalam charged them to ensure the good people of Bayelsa State come 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 trouble makers 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, trouble makers 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 a long 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 was particularly pleased with the level of synergy existing between the NA and sister Services, which he said culminated into a joint route march, climaxing with a joint show of force in Yenagoa and environs today.
This, he further said, essentially sends a clear message to those who are bent on causing trouble before, during, and after the poll to have a rethink.
He assured the good people of Bayelsa State that adequate security has been put in place to ensure a peaceful poll.