- The Nigerian Army has established a special court martial to try erring soldiers in the 2019 general elections
- The Army says soldiers who are found to be supporting political parties will be tried in the special court
- According to the chief of army staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, the soldiers and officers are expected to be neutral
As the 2019 general elections draw nearer, the Nigerian Army has established a special court martial to try soldiers who are found to be supporting political parties.
Punch reports that this was disclosed in Abuja on Tuesday, September 25, by the chief of army staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, at the 2nd and 3rd Quarters’ Chief of Army Staff Conference.
Legit.ng gathers that the army chief stated that officers and soldiers should be warned not to be sympathetic to any political party or ethnic group ahead of the forthcoming elections.
According to Buratai, any soldier who is willing to participate in politics should “voluntarily retire from the army to pursue his or her political passion.”
He said: “As political activities unfold towards the 2019 general elections, the general officer commanding and the field commanders are enjoined to continue to remind officers and soldiers under their commands to remain non-partisan and be guided by the stipulated code of conduct in the discharge of their duties.
"As professional soldiers, none of us should be sympathetic to any political, religious or ethnic cause. Any personnel of the army who is interested in politics should voluntarily retire to pursue his or her political passion.
“Furthermore, there is the prohibition of army personnel from any form of worship outside the established barracks worship areas, except those permitted for some peculiar social functions. I want to reiterate that the special court-martial to try defaulters is already in place. I enjoin you to refrain from any occult, ethnic, political or religious extremism as these would distract us from our constitutional responsibility."
According to Buratai, there are ongoing operations to curtail the activities of Boko Haram terrorists, farmers and herdsmen’s clashes and others.
“The security situation in the northwest and north central states of Kaduna, Zamfara, Benue, Plateau and Taraba has necessitated the deployment of troops by the army and there is progress.
“The issue of drugs and other substance abuse is an area that could pose a serious threat to the operational capabilities and effectiveness of the army if the extra commitment is not taken towards eliminating it," he added.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the Nigerian Army assured the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of its support and assistance that would enable the commission carry out its constitutional responsibility of conducting 2019 general elections especially in the north eastern part of the country.
The acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division, Brigadier General Abdulmalik Biu, gave the assurance in Maiduguri when the resident electoral commissioner Borno state, Mohammed Magaji, paid him a courtesy call in his office.
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