- The Nigerian Army has warned mischief makers over need for a peace election in February
- The Army also operationalised a Forward Operation Base (FOB) in the border town of Gembu, located on the Mambila Plateau of Taraba state
- The Chief of Army Staff warned electoral miscreants to immediately desist from their evil plans
The Nigerian Army says it is poised to work with other security agencies to frustrate plans by unscrupulous elements working with foreign collaborators to disrupt peaceful conduct of the general elections.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai gave the assurance at Gembu, the Headquarters of Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba when he operationalised a Forward Operation Base (FOB) in the border town.
Gembu, located on the Mambila Plateau, borders the Republic of Cameroon.
Buratai said: “we have received reports of mischievous plans by some unscrupulous elements in connivance with foreign collaborators to disrupt the peaceful conduct of the 2019 general elections in some parts of the country, including here in Taraba.
“Let me, therefore, warn such miscreants to immediately desist from their evil plans.
“The Nigerian Army is working closely with the Nigerian Police and security agencies to ensure enabling environment to ensure the good citizens of our dear country exercise their civic rights.
“In this regard, field commanders at all levels have been mandated to decisively deal with any form of aberration.’’
He said that conduct of the ongoing “Exercise Egwu Eke III’’ also known as “Python Dance’’ nationwide was as a result of the upcoming elections.
According to him, the aim is to deal with all forms of criminal activities to ensure safety before, during and after the elections.
On the FOB in Gembu, Buratai said it was designed and adequately equipped for effective conduct of operations by troops within the Mambila Plateau and environs.
He said it would be used to conduct wide range of military operations, including patrol, raids, stop and search, arrest criminal elements and seize illegal arms, as well as curtail armed militias.
“Recently, there has been an upsurge in deadly attacks between armed militia and ethnic groups in parts of Taraba, particularly the Mambilla Plateau which resulted in colossal loss of lives and property.
“In the same vein, the increased activities of Separatist Movements from our immediate neighbour continue to wield adverse effect on our border communities in Taraba.
“This necessitated the establishment of a dedicated force to ensure the protection of lives and properties and likewise curtail all forms of criminalities in this general area.’’
Buratai charged the troops to remain vigilant and swiftly conduct robust and intensive operations to ensure peace and stability in area of the FOB and entire Taraba.
He further charged them to synergise with other security agencies in the state.
Governor Darius Ishaku, who graced the occasion, said the FOB would help in checking crisis in the area as well as some foreigners, who want to foment trouble.
Later in an interview with newsmen, Ishaku appealed to politicians to desist from the “pull them down and insulting one another’’ syndrome as they canvass for vote.
The governor urged them to play by the rules of the game, avoid destroying opponent’s posters, desist from encouraging political thuggery and violence.
“I think politics can be done peacefully everywhere in the country, we can conduct ourselves peacefully, we the politicians.
“And I am begging the Armed Forces, Police and others to remain neutral, they are security agencies for Nigeria and Nigerians, not for any political party and as such they should remain neutral.’’
Earlier in a welcome address, Major General Nuhu Angbazo, the GOC, 3 Division under whose command lies the FOB, said insecurity in parts of the country necessitated deployment of troops, even the formation being operationalised.
Angbazo said in recent past, there were upsurge in attacks on the Mambila and environs but had been brought under control.
He said the formation was to check recurrence of such attacks and quickly respond if there was any.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Egwu Eke III, also known Operation Python Dance has been flagged off by the 1 Division Nigerian Army headquarters in Kaduna on Tuesday, January 22.
Operation Python Dance was flagged off in the state to combat banditry, kidnapping and other crimes.
Legit.ng gathers that general officer commanding the Division, Major General Mohammed Mohammed, assured of maintaining law and order during the forthcoming general elections.
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