- The Nigerian Army says undue interference by politicians in the conduct of its ongoing Exercise Egwu Eke III will not be tolerated
- This was stated in Sokoto state by the army spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Usman
- Usman made the warning on Sunday, February 3, after 16 suspected political thugs were arrested by the troops
The Nigerian Army has vowed not to tolerate undue interference by politicians in the conduct of its ongoing Exercise Egwu Eke III.
Brigadier General Sani Usman, the army spokesman, gave the warning in a statement on Sunday, February 3, after troops arrested 16 suspected political thugs in Sokoto state.
Egwu Eke III or Python Dance was launched nationwide on Wednesday, January, 2 to deal with criminal activities before, during and after the general elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that It will be rounded off in March after the general elections.
Legit.ng gathers that Usman said the suspects were arrested armed with 27 axes and 16 customised sticks.
He said they were arrested on Saturday, January 2, during joint stop and search patrol with other security agencies along Illela-Danfulani-Gwadabawa road.
The army spokesman, however, disclosed that a prominent politician in the state and a serving Senator, whose name he did not mention, came to the scene and ordered his mobile police escorts to release them.
He said: “In the process, a Department of State Service operative was molested and his clothes torn. The patriotic and professional officer still held on to the seized weapons.
“Similarly, another prominent politician from Zamfara State had earlier tried to influence the investigation of arrested armed political thugs."
Usman restated that the army had always been professional, impartial and apolitical and would continue to be so.
According to him, since the begining of the exercise in January, “we have arrested thugs armed with dangerous weapons across the various political parties, without fear or favour".
Usman said: “The thugs were documented and handed over to the police. We have noted with great concern that such criminals usually find themselves back into the society without any sanction.”
He said the army was committed to creating a conducive and secure environment for the smooth and peaceful conduct of the general elections.
The army spokesman said: “Therefore, we would not tolerate any undue interference from any quarters in the discharge of this noble responsibility.
“Additionally, we have resolved to hold on to any arrested criminal or armed thugs until the end of the elections.
“All Commanders have been further directed to continue to carry out their duties diligently, despite the provocation from some misguided elements.”
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the chief of army staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, said the Nigeria Army (NA) would work closely with other security agencies to prevent foreign intruders from interfering with the general electoral elections.
Speaking at the commissioning of Forward Operational Base (FOB) for the third division of the Nigerian Army in Sardauna local government area of Taraba state, Buratai assured Nigerians that the influx of refugees into the Mambilla Plateau due to the crisis in neighbouring Cameroon, would not affect the electoral process.
He urged politicians to avoid taking undue advantage of the humanitarian situation, noting that any act inimical to the peaceful conduct of the elections would be resisted by the army.
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