Akpan Umoh, Uyo
The General Officer Commanding 6 Division Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Olufemi Oluyede, has charged troops of 2 Brigade Nigerian Army to be professional in performing their duties during the forthcoming general elections in the country.
He said this while addressing the troops at Ibagwa Barracks in Abak, Akwa Ibom on Tuesday, warned them not to involve in any act that would bring disrepute to the Nigerian Army and the country.
Oluyede, who is also the Commander Operation Delta Safe, urged the officers and men that their duty was to assist the police to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order during and after the elections.
He tasked the soldiers to remain apolitical throughout the elections, stressing that Nigeria is the only country for all of us and must be protected.
“Nigeria belongs to all of us, especially for those of us who are soldiers, if we damage our country there is no where we shall go.
“As your GOC, my duty is to beg you to do what is right. What do I mean by that? You are not suppose to support anybody, you are not suppose to disgrace the army by collecting money, you are not suppose to carry ballot box for anybody.
“That is not your work, everything is clearly stated in the pamphlet distributed to you, which I will implore you to read it. The Chief of Army staff has made it very clear, that the Army is nonpartisan. Let the people choose who they want.
“Your duty during the elections is to assist the police to ensure that there is no break down of law and order. The duty of a soldier is not to help anybody and carry ballot box,” Oluyede warned.
The GOC cautioned that any soldier found wanting will be dealt with decisively, adding that the civilian would continue to respect soldiers when they do what is right.
He reminded the troops that to be security conscious anywhere they were deployed, to avoid any casualty as the army would do everything to ensure their safety.
“Let me tell you, no civilian can face you and even point fingers at you when you do the right thing. The Chief of Army Staff has advised us to do our job professionally and never to take side.
“I want to repeat myself, that the only time civilians can insult you is when you do the wrong thing. Please, don’t go and spoil the name of the Army and if I find you wanting, you will be penalised. It is an appeal and warning at the same time.
“Remember that you have your family to take care of. Please, face your work, do it as instructed and do it well.
“I want to advise you that as soldiers this is an abnormal times, you must be vigilant at all times. Be alert. Don’t go and waste your life anywhere you are being deployed,” he said.
Our correspondent reports that the 2 Brigade Nigerian Army had earlier joint other security agencies in the state to commence “operation show of force” to maintain peace and order during the elections.