Despite the resurgence of Boko Haram attacks in parts of Adamawa State, the Nigerian Army has assured residents that elections would hold successfully in all parts of the state.
Brigadier General Mohammad Bello gave the assurance in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, on Monday, at a sensitisation training for troops on the conduct of elections, organised by the 23 Brigade.
Renewed violence by Boko Haram insurgents in Michika and Madagali Local Government Areas of the state had raised concerns among some stakeholders about the possibility of not holding elections in the area.
Just last Saturday, the terror group struck in Madagali town, leading to the death of a village head in the area, as confirmed by authorities.
Bello, however, cautioned troops under his command against taking part in partisan politicking that can tarnish the image of the military. He also warned that “the military high command will deal with any soldier found culpable”.
He reminded the troops of their constitutional role of “providing security aid to civil authorities in election matters only when called upon”.
“Commanders are hereby reminded to ensure that soldiers under their command display high sense of discipline during the election, and to also comply strictly with the code of conduct. Any violation of the code must be reported immediately through the appropriate channel for disciplinary action,” he added.
The sensitisation training drew participants from all security agencies in the state and other critical stakeholders, in the effort to synergise for peaceful conduct of the polls.
Jamil Jibril, an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), spelt out the modus operandi of the electoral process and warned security agencies against the implications of using brute force and abuse of power on the electorate.
Accordingly, the Army has launched the ‘Egwu Eke’, better known as Python Dance III, in Adamawa and Taraba states to guarantee the safety during the elections.
On whether the resurgence of Boko Haram activities, particularly in the far northern axis of Adamawa State, may affect the conduct of the polls, Bello said: “Absolutely no.”
He stressed that the Army, in collaboration with other security agencies, had mapped out operational plans to contain any security challenge that may arise around the period.
In the Adamawa theatre, operations have been stepped up in flash points like “Gombi and Garkida, on the borders of the dreaded Sambisa hideout of the outlawed Islamist sect”.
On the Taraba side of the engagement, Wukari and Gembu towns are receiving strategic military attention to ensure violence-free conduct of the elections.
“Egwu Eke (Python Dance III) is aimed at creating enabling environment for safe conduct of the 2019 elections. To underscore the seriousness of the operation, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, had personally toured the units and formations to evaluate performance on the exercise,” he said.