- General Gabriel Olonisakin said illegal possession and use of firearms to intimidate members of the public might cause security breaches at the 2019 general elections
- According to the Chief of Defence Staff, the security services are prepared to support the police to ensure safe conduct of the elections
- Olonisakin, however, urged eligible voters to come out en-masse to exercise their franchise during the elections
General Gabriel Olonisakin, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), on Thursday, February 14, cautioned against illegal use of military uniforms and firearms to scuttle the 2019 general elections.
New Telegraph reports that Olonisakin made this known after a meeting with other Service Chiefs and Heads of Security agencies at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) in Abuja.
He said: "We are not unaware of plans to illegally use uniforms of military/paramilitary agencies to impersonate security and law enforcement agencies; illegal possession and use of firearms to intimidate and harass members of the public; and other acts likely to cause security breaches."
Olonisakin said the armed forces and other security agencies will not tolerate any act that is likely to cause security breaches before, during and after the elections. He said, they would deal decisively with these acts irrespective of those involved.
He also said members of the public should disregard the call to stay at home on the day of the election being circulated in some parts of the country.
The CDS added: “The stay-at-home leaflets being circulated and similar on-line messages are part of the handiwork of mischief makers who are bent on scuttling the process and should be ignored."
He said that the security services are prepared to support the police to ensure safe conduct of the elections. He said law enforcement agencies would remain apolitical, adding that, Code of Conduct for the Armed Forces for the elections have been issued to the Services and security personnel that will be deployed for election security duties.
Olonisakin said all other personnel who are not deployed for election security duties have been directed to steer clear of the elections apart from exercising their rights to vote for candidates of their choice.
He appealed to Nigerians to adhere to the restrictions on movement during the period of the elections, adding that violators of the restriction on movement, no matter how highly placed, will be arrested and detained.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that gunmen wearing military uniform on Thursday, February 14, reportedly attacked a vehicle belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission in Benue state.
The vehicle was reported to be conveying non-sensitive election materials to one of the LGAs in the state. This was disclosed by the state INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Nentawe Yilwatda.
According to him, at the time of the attack, the vehicle was carrying non-sensitive materials to Logo area of the state.
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