2023 elections: Armed forces will resist pressure to compromise election – CDS – Daily Sun

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, has emphases that the military coming 2023 elections will be at the forefront of providing security but will be assisting the police.
While acknowledging there will always be constant pressure on security forces to tamper with elections, he urged Nigerians to have faith in them because they are still steadfastly devoted to upholding impartiality.
Irabor who was the 61st guest of the Ministerial Media Briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday, maintained that the military is apolitical, disclosing that security personnel come under pressure through inducements, noting that necessary measures are being put in place to ensure that they obey President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to maintain neutrality.
He said personnel are being trained to be more professional while rules of engagement before, during and after the elections have been codified and distributed to them.
The rules of engagement before, during, and after the elections have been codified and handed to the personnel, who are also receiving professional training on election duties as well.
“Of course, there will always be pressure from all quarters, wanting to induce security forces, not just the military, the security force and the Police. And that’s what criminal enterprise is all about. That is what something wrong is all about. But what makes the difference is the professional approach to dealing with those issues. And that’s what, as the military, we are committed to doing.”
Speaking on the training, he said, “Now this is why we have ramped up our training in that regard; sensitisation, a lot of engagement across the formations and units is being undertaken. And then, we have articulated the code of conduct for all our personnel, which has been done and distributed.
“So what should they act before, during and after the elections, these are being codified in the SOP that have been issued to them. So, it remains the duty of the commanders to ensure that the directive, as indicated, and the contents of the SOP is adhered to by every personnel in the armed forces.”
Therefore, he urged Nigerians to “cease from worrying” and rather trust and engage others to trust that the military will “keep faith to these directives.”
Explaining the military’s role in the forthcoming elections, the CDS noted that it would not spearhead security operations but would only assist the Police.
The CDS also revisited the infamous shooting at the Lekki Toll Gate in 2020, insisting that on a video evidence exonerated the Nigerian military of “killing its own kits and kin.”
He explained: “We are not against the people. So, there’s no way the military will go and shoot people, is not possible. We won’t do that and it was not done during ENDSARS.
“But again, if you have a problem with a regime, confine your problem with a regime but not the government. Let’s get it right; there’s a difference between a regime and a government because you are part of the government.
“So, if you now have a few people who still want to stick to partisanship dealing with the regime, then there is a problem. You don’t bring that into governance. No. And we must understand that so that you don’t end up embroiling the military in those inanities, and it makes no sense. We need to make progress; we need to move forward.”
The Defense chief also said that over 300,000 people have been freed from the hands of abductors since 2014 while refugees who fled the northeast due to insurgency have started to return.
The CDS also said that former insurgents now being trained will graduate in February next year before their reintegration into the society.

Sun News Online Team

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From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja     The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, has emphases…

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