- The Nigerian Army displays heavy military presence in six violence-prone local government areas in Sokoto state ahead of supplementary elections in the state
- The GOC of 8 Division, Maj Gen. Hakeem Otiki, notes that the show of force exercise is not meant to intimidate the public
- Gen Otiki says the exercise would also serve as warning to hoodlums and other disgruntled elements that might plan or intend to disrupt the upcoming supplementary elections
The Nigerian Army on Friday, March 22, extended its Show of Force Exercise to six violence-prone local government areas in Sokoto state preparatory to the Saturday, March 23, supplementary elections in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the affected local government areas are Raba, Kebbe, Gada, Goronyo, Sabon Birni and Isa.
Addressing the motorcade before taking off from Sokoto, Maj.-Gen. Hakeem Otiki, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 8 Division, Nigerian Army, said the exercise was to arouse public attention to the presence of the military.
Otiki explained that the exercise was not meant to intimidate the public, but to express army readiness to curtail any form of public disturbance.
He said further that the exercise would also serve as warning to hoodlums and other disgruntled elements that might plan or intend to disrupt the upcoming supplementary elections.
The GOC added that similar exercise was conducted for hours in Sokoto metropolis on Thursday and urged the people to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in ensuring peaceful coexistence in the country.
He, however, cautioned all violators of peace to be wary of the repercussion, stressing that the military were always ready to secure lives and safeguard the nation’s territorial integrity.
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‘’I urge you to feel free and to come out on that day to exercise your civic responsibility at the selected places within the periods.
NAN reports that the exercise was conducted in partnership with the Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Department of State Security Service (DSS), Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC).
Okiti urged the officers to be disciplined, adding that discipline was the bedrock of achieving success in all aspects of life.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday, March 21, announced that supplementary governorship and others elections would hold in 18 states on Saturday, March 23.
This was contained in a document released by INEC showing supplementary governorship polls will hold in five states including Bauchi where the exercise would be held in 14 local government areas.
In Benue, the exercise will hold in 22 LGAs; in Plateau, 9 LGAs; in Kano, 29 LGAs and in Sokoto, 22 LGAs.
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