The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouq Yahaya, has called on troops of the Nigeria army to prepare ahead of the 2023 elections a a ensure that citizens experience a hitch-free elections.
The army chief made this call during a two days operational visit to the northeast frontline where he met with officers and men under the Operation Hadin Kai, a counterinsurgency operation of the Nigera military.
General Yahaya, had hailed the gallantry and recent successes of the troops in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents.
While urging the troops not to relent but step up their acts by harnessing more Intel that can lead to a total restoration of peace in the front line areas, the COAS also reminded the troops of yet another added task ahead of them. The 2023 elections.
He said the Nigeria army particularly has a role to play in ensuring that the democratic exercise is conducted in a secured atmosphere without any hitches.
“Elections are here, and when they come they are with their odds and challenges,’ he said.
“We also have experienced many elections, and we have been covering elections since 1999, so we are to leverage our experience by dusting up contingency plans for flash points and likely areas of trouble.
He said the troops are to “rehearse” drills and especially liaise and cooperate with other security agencies that provide support during elections.
He said the army has also inaugurated some operations like “Operation Still Water”, ” and Operation Golden Dawn” amongst others, that are targetted toward checking “criminal activities that are associated with the yuletide periods.”
“One of the objectives is to set the conditions for free elections,” he noted.
“Our exercises and operations are intelligence driven so that they can address unique stay-clear security challenges where they are launched so that they can create a secure atmosphere that will suit the election periods.
“All units and formations of the Nigerian army have contingency plans for the provision of security, particularly for the coming elections.
“We should as mandated by our profession, always appraise them, review them and continue to be alert so that we can evaluate our plans and activate them when necessary to support the civil authority by the provision of security for our dear countrymen and women.”
General Yahaya had earlier commended the troops on the front line for the improved security in the region even as he said “there is still more work to be done to consolidate on the successes.
He said the troops must “remain alert at all times”.
“We can’t afford to take the situation for granted. We are not relenting.”
Urging the commanders to invest their resources in seeking more relevant Information, the army chief said “Perpetrators are not from the moon; they are here with us.”
“Commanders on the ground need to harness more information networks, relate with credible sources of information, triangulate and take necessary action on the Intels generated.”
He said the president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces have been keenly following the development on the front lines, and he has been happy with the troop’s operational successes.