By Paul Michael, Defence Editor, Abuja
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya has warned officers of the Nigerian Army to avoid being dragged into politics as 2023 general elections draw closer.
The COAS gave the warning on Tuesday while addressing troops during his operational tour of 2 Brigade Area of Responsibility (AOR) at Uyo. Noting that role of the Army during elections is to provide support to the Nigerian Police Force.
According to a statement by Director of Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, “The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya has admonished troops of the Nigerian Army to remain resolute and focused in the discharge of their constitutional mandate to defend the territorial integrity of the nation and protect the citizenry in the conduct of ongoing Internal Security Operations across the country.
“The COAS, who was on arrival, received and briefed by the Brigade Commander Brig Gen Mohammed Inuwa, on the security situation in the general area, pointed out that electoral activities would soon commence around the country and warned that troops must avoid being dragged into any form of politicking.
“The Army Chief emphasized the role of troops during elections, as that of supporting the Nigeria Police, which is the lead agency in the security architecture of elections. Gen Yahaya called on the troops to vigorously protect national economic assets by checking the activities of criminals and economic saboteurs, who are hell bent on sabotaging the oil and gas sector of the nation’s economy.”
The COAS assured the troops that their administrative and operational challenges will receive due and prompt attention, adding that the welfare of personnel is paramount in his command.
During the operational tour, the COAS inspected ongoing projects in the new barracks under construction at Nsit Ubium Local Government Area of the State. He also visited 6 Battalion Headquarters at Ibagwa in Abak Local Government Area of the state, where he also interacted with officers and soldiers of the Battalion.
On the COAS’ entourage were the Chief of Operations (Army), Maj Gen Olufemi Akinjobi, the General Officer Commanding 6 Division Maj Gen Olufemi Oluyede, the Provost Marshal(Army), Maj Gen Robert Aiyenigba, the Chief of Military Intelligence, Maj Gen Ibrahim Salihu and the Chief of Staff to the COAS, Brig Gen Aminu Umar.