Nigerian Military Speaks Ahead Of Gov/State House Of Assembly Elections
File image of Nigerian troops

The Nigerian military has restated that the role of the Armed Forces in elections is to support the police in providing security for voters.

The Defence Headquarters made this known on Friday, one day to the March 9 Governorship and House of Assembly elections across Nigeria.

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There would also be Area Council elections in the Federal Capital Territory on the same day.

Acting Director of Defence Information (DDI) Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu said the military’s role in election was contained in Section 271 of the 1999 constitution.

The section stipulates that the military can be deployed to “assist the police in maintenance of law and order during elections.’’

He said: “In carrying out this onerous task, the Armed Forces of Nigeria is guided by the code of conduct and rules of engagement that have been provided for military personnel deployed to maintain security during elections.

“We assure Nigerians that in tandem with our mandate, we will continue to compliment and support the efforts of the Nigerian Police in ensuring that all abiding citizens of this nation and members of the international community go about their legitimate duties and obligations in an environment devoid of violence and insecurity.’’

Nwachukwu restated the Chief of Defence Staff’s (CDS), Abayomi Olonisakin directive that personnel had the right to vote during the ongoing elections, but must approach polling units in mufti.

“Additionally, any military personnel who is not on election security duty found in military uniform on election day will be arrested and sanctioned in accordance with military justice system,’’ the CDS added.