The Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has assured Nigerians that the Army will provide a conducive and secure environment for the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
Gen. Yahaya gave the assurances Thursday, 17 March, at the closing ceremony of the of the Chief of Army Staff First Quarter Conference 2022, in Abuja.
TheFact Nigeria notes that the history of elections in Nigeria since 1959 till date has, largely, been characterised by thuggery and violence among other notable electoral vices. Starting with the 1964 general elections, successive elections have all been experiences well known for their notorious and widespread acts of hooliganism and vandalism, with attendant loss of lives and property.
This development has continued unabated, even in the 21st century when most young democracies in Africa are eschewing violence and other vices during elections. A case in point was the post-election violence in northern Nigeria after the 2011 presidential election in which hundreds of lives were lost, thousands displaced and invaluable property destroyed. While the 2015 election recorded remarkable improvements relative to 2011, incidents of skirmishes dogged the process, detracting from what was otherwise a fair process.
While assuring that the Army will not allow violence during the 2023 elections, the Army Chief urged army personnel to remain professional and glaringly apolitical as they carry out their constitutional duties of maintaining peace and security in aid of civil authority across the country.
He also charged them to continue to uphold human right principles in the conduct of operations in tandem with the constitution and rules of engagement.
“This is particularly important as the activities outlined in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) calendar gather steam.
“In line with our constitutional responsibilities, we will continue to provide a conducive and secured environment for the conduct of the general elections through Operation Safe Conduct in aid to civil authority,” Yahaya said.