Election Matters: Nigerian Army Remains Neutral, Apolitical In Its Duties, Says Management

By Frank Oshanugor

Authorities of the Nigerian Army have frowned at what has been described as a deliberately calculated smear in the social media against some senior commanders and officers of the Army.

In a statement on Monday, Army spokesman Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu said “while these unconscionable acts are inexplicable, the motivation behind them are not far-fetched. In the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections, officers and men of the Nigerian Army adopted a firm and resolute stance in providing security support for the Elections in a manner that effectively curbed and prevented ill-intentioned groups from violently interfering with the process.

“There is no doubt that Nigerians are excited at this responsible posture and the democratic opportunity it offered them. However, some interest groups, that were effectively prevented from hatching their nefarious plots to influence the course of the elections through violence, are understandably piqued by this assertiveness of the Nigerian Army.”

The statement added that “as constitutionally conceived, the Nigerian Army is nationalistic in its make-up and organization, drawing strengths from the diversities in our great nation. Our responsibilities, so far as elections are concerned, remain that of providing support to primary law enforcement and stakeholders in the Electioneering process towards ensuring that Nigerians are allowed to choose their leaders and representatives in a peaceful manner. This goal remains our only focus and one we would continue to pursue, mindful that the average citizen expects nothing less from his Army.”

The Army Headquarters has therefore assured the public that any misconduct against any of its personnel would be responsibly investigated and any subsequent substantiation would attract the appropriate disciplinary sanctions in accordance with established practices and extant laws.

In the same vein, the Army said it should equally be appreciated that “the character and reputation of a senior officer earned over three decades of meritorious service cannot be allowed to be destroyed by misguided elements through mere speculations. The resort to the sentiments of ethnic and religious colorations would not also diminish the Nigerian’s Army resolve to carry on its roles professionally.”

The Nigerian Army has therefore, urged all Nigerians “to ignore the mischief being propagated by ill-intentioned individuals and groups, and continue to go about their civic responsibilities without any fear of molestation. We would continue to work with sister Services and other Security Agencies to meet all security-related expectations of citizens as enshrined in the laws of the Federation.”

Written by: Frank Oshanugor

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