Military, police vow to defend democracy - Lambaba Media



Thursday, February 23, 2023

Military, police vow to defend democracy


The Military high command and its Police counterparts have vowed to defend the democratic system of government practice by the country with everything within their means.

They also promised that no stone would be left unturned to ensure the smooth conduct of the general elections.

They spoke at a joint briefing with select journalists on Thursday in Abuja.

Speaking, the Director, Defence Information, Brigadier General Tukur Gusau, warned that strong forces would be deployed on those attempting to breach public peace during the elections.

He said, “We are set the conduct a hitch-free election in the country. The AFN is prepared to support the Nigerian Police and other govt agencies responsible for conducting elections. The CDS has sent out strong messages that the AFN is committed to total collaboration with other security agencies to ensure this election is successful.

“The AFN is committed to strong and viable constitutional democracy, we are very loyal to the Nigerian State and we are ready to defend democracy at all costs. During the elections, all our normal operations and duties will continue simultaneously across the country. Operation Safe conduct has been activated to guide the AFN during the general elections.”

He disclosed that the military high command had established a monitoring team as well as operation centers across the country to enable its response to cases of breaches. Said, “DHQ has established a monitoring team in conjunction with other security agencies that will oversee the process in FCT and all 6 geopolitical zones of the country. Similarly, operations centers have been established in FCT and the 36 states of the country to serve as quick response centers for all distress calls in the event of any breach of peace during the general election.

“I want to use this opportunity to reecho the warning of the CDS to undesirable elements, that the AFN and other security agencies are ready and will subvert any threats to peace and tranquility, and strong force will be applied to those that want to breach public peace during the general election. The AFN has adequately sensitised its personnel on their expected roles throughout the elections.”

The Force spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi, said the police were ready to protect democracy, adding that elections would be free and fair.

He said, “Like the military, we are ready to protect democracy, we are ready to give good security to our electoral process so that we can have free, fair credible, and even acceptable general elections in 2023 in the philosophy of Mr. President who said he wants free fair and credible elections, despite belonging to a political party but he wants to give every Nigerian he rights, liberty to do whatever he wants to do.”

He added that the ban on the unauthorised use of vehicles, sirens, revolving lights, covered number plates, unregistered vehicles, and tinted glasses is still in force, saying that police officers on election duties had been ordered to arrest violators of this order.

Adejobi said anyone not enjoying immunity as prescribed by the constitution should not come to the polling units with their details.

He added that governors and others covered by immunity have been advised to only show up with their ADC. 

Muyiwa said, “I want to say without mincing words that our officers and men particularly those that are detailed to VIPs or politicians as escorts or aids are not allowed to move with any one of them during the elections.

“Apart from governors that can go out with ADC, we don’t expect them (governors) to go with a large number of security operatives because on that day we all are equal before the law but we still know that they are governors and they can only go out with ADC or orderly

“But any other person who is not a governor or does not enjoy any constitutional immunity but has privileges of having security personnel as aides or escorts will not be allowed to go out to any polling unit with his security operatives and this message has been discussed at various meetings at the instance of the CDS so that all security agencies will be on the same page.”

He warned those who are of voting age and don’t have Permanent Voters Cards to stay at home throughout the exercise.

Adejobi said,” We want to assure active electorates i.e those with PVC to go out and exercise their franchise but inactive electorates, those that are more than 18 but without PVC pls stay at home we don’t want them, they are the ones that cause problems so just stay glue to their TV and radio stations to monitor the elections. ”

The Force spokesperson advised those whose polling units were far from where they reside to move to close their units on Friday.

He said the restriction of movement order would be enforced as such those in that category might not be allowed to move around on Election Day.

Adejobi said, ” Restrictions order is very key for all of us to have well-organized security arrangement for the success of the electoral process. Exceptions to these restrictions include accredited members of the press and essential workers.

“For those who would want to move to a polling unit, we’ve been having problems with the relocation of PVC, if you know your distance will be long enough to use a vehicle, you are advised to move close to your polling unit on Friday before the restriction time because you may not have that free access to drive covering a large or long distance in any way.

“Men have been deployed to enforce this restrictions order and you are going to meet them at intervals so for your interest move close to your polling units. For those that want to trek make sure your polling unit is a trek able distance or else they will be asking you questions. You are going to vote but the men on the field will be asking you questions and you must be ready to answer them.”

Adejobi assured that security agencies were on top of the situation in States where beaches were being recorded.

He said, “In certain areas where we have recorded pockets of incidences we want to assure you that we are on top of the situation, we want to urge Nigerians to be on the same page with us. Go out and vote but those who want to ferment trouble, you want it hot, we give you hot, you want it average, we give you average, you want it mild or simple, we give the way you want.”

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