The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Department of State Service (DSS), and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, has read out the riot act to electorates and political stakeholders hours before Saturday’s off-cycle governorship elections in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa State.
Vox9ja reports that residents of the three states are expected to go out tomorrow, November 11, 2023, to exercise their civic rights. Amid anxieties, troublemakers have been warned of dire consequences if they fail to conduct themselves before, during and after the day’s exercise.
The security agencies’ warning came as concerned stakeholders, including traditional rulers and religious leaders, sued for peace.
The DHQ said the military had been informed of the intentions of certain individuals associated with specific candidates to masquerade as military personnel to cause disturbances during the elections.
It warned that there would be consequences for persons or groups planning to disguise themselves as personnel during the election, stressing that such action will not be tolerated as the military will not allow its image to be destroyed.
Director of Defence Media Operations, Major-General Edward Buba, gave the warning while briefing on military operations to counter threats of terrorists, bandits/kidnappers, oil theft perpetrators and other forms of insecurity across the country.
He said: “For the off-season elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi states taking place this weekend, Here is a message for you. The military is deployed in strength for the election to create a safe environment for voters to come out and cast their votes peacefully.
“However, we are aware of plans of some to disguise themselves in military gear to orchestrate havoc and disrupt elections in some areas. Our message to such a group is that there will be injurious consequences for such an action. The military will not fold its arms and watch its image dragged to the mud.”
The military also warned its troops about potential violations of electoral guidelines or disruptive behaviour. The consequences of such actions it said could result in a court-martial, as the military has made it clear that they will not tolerate any misconduct.
“It is important to highlight that the AFN (Armed Forces of Nigeria) is a disciplined and well-trained force that conducts its operation within the ambit of laws governing human rights and that of armed conflict. We have rules of engagement that are followed in the course of our actions,” the DHQ added.
Earlier, IGP Egbetokun announced the redeployment of 14 Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIGs) and 26 Commissioners of Police, CPs, with immediate effect.
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Also, the DSS cautioned individuals and organizations about refraining from making inflammatory remarks prior to the elections, emphasizing that the use of aggressive language may disrupt the smooth and organized process of conducting peaceful elections in the three states.
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