Anambra Election: We Remain Apolitical, Says Nigerian Army
Ahead of the gubernatorial polls in Anambra on Saturday, the Nigerian Army (NA) says it remains apolitical and will carry out its constitutional role of aiding civil authority to provide internal security without bias.
The army’s position was contained in a statement on Thursday by Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, the Director of Army Public Relations.
In the statement, Nwachukwu said that the force has again noted the desperation of conflict merchants to discredit its constitutional duties.
“The mischief-makers, using social media, shared a video alleging that soldiers were escorting buses filled with fake voters into Anambra State.
“Even though such despicable propaganda images can easily be punctured by any keen observer, for the sake of posterity, we wish to state without equivocation that no soldier of the Nigerian Army indulged in escorting fake voters into Anambra State.
“Contrary to the misleading information, the buses in question were conveying INEC permanent and ad-hoc staff for election tasks in Anambra State.
“The Federal Ministry of Information and Culture has corroborated this position. We, therefore, urge the general public to please disregard the report, as it is clearly misinformation,” the army spokesman explained.
He further noted that the army’s duty in Anambra is purely security-related and in support of the Nigeria Police, the lead security agency in the electioneering security architecture.
According to him, this is done in collaboration with other security agencies to ensure a safe and secure atmosphere for the peaceful conduct of elections.
“Our troops are guided by extant provisions of Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) Personnel Code of Conduct during elections and the provisions of Armed Forces Act CAP A20 LFN 2004. We shall continue to operate along these lines to ensure that peace and security reign in our country.
“We will remain apolitical and very professional in deeds and conduct for the growth and development of democracy in Nigeria. We also encourage the political gladiators to refrain from dragging the Nigerian Army and indeed the Armed Forces of Nigeria into the murky waters of politics.
“We assure all Nigerians that the NA remains resolute in carrying out her constitutional duties,” he added.
The army through its spokesman urged the people of Anambra not to panic, stressing that the military sincerely appreciates the citizens for being law-abiding and supporting the joint security agencies who are toiling relentlessly to ensure peace and security in the state.