Nigerian Army has said it will ensure a level playing field and peaceful atmosphere in next Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections as well as the March 11 governorship and state Assembly polls.
The general officer commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Taoreed Lagbaja, gave the assurance in Kaduna while fielding questions from journalists during the annual West African Social Activity (WASA), held at Ribadu Cantonment, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Kaduna.
According to General Lagbaja, “We have achieved a lot in bringing peace and stability to Kaduna State, to our immediate community, but the troops still need to do a lot more to bring stability to our communities.
“In the immediate term is the 2023 general elections that is before us, and I want to say it very clear that, the troops of 1 Division will continue to remain apolitical and they will be professional in the discharge of their task of providing an enabling environment for the conduct of a peaceful, free and fair election come Saturday the 25th of February and March 11.
“The WASA that we just witnessed is just an initiative of the Nigerian Army high command to say thank you to the troops for what they have done in the previous operational year and to also remind them that there is still a long way to go.”
Also at the event, Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai who was represented by the state’s commissioner for internal security and home affairs, Samuel Aruwan commended the Army for restoring peace in the troubled areas of the state.
According to the governor, “It is pertinent to mention that 1 Division has very cogent reasons to celebrate the activities that ended Year 2022 as its officers and soldiers have so far, remained resolute in the discharge of their constitutional roles, especially in ensuring that there is relative calm in Kaduna State and environs. I am aware of your tremendous achievements in combating the myriad of security challenges that have bedevilled our dear fatherland which are manifested in the forms of kidnapping, terrorism and other sundry crimes capable of disrupting public peace.
“Your dogged determination in curbing these anomalies within your area of responsibility and beyond, has brought tremendous positive change in the general security situation, and created a favourable environment for economic and socio-political activities to thrive. I must therefore sincerely commend your efforts in fostering synergy and collaboration between your institutions and other security agencies. This is evident in the conduct of various joint operations leading to the peaceful atmosphere we are enjoying today. I salute the gallantry recently displayed by your troops to ensure that the Yuletide season was celebrated with minimal security challenges.
“As you commence the activities for the year 2023, let me remind you of the need to be more focused and determined in confronting emerging challenges. There is no doubt that 2023 is an eventful year, especially considering the political landscape of the country, accentuated by the approaching general elections. I therefore urge you to remain vigilant, apolitical, and steadfast in discharging your constitutional responsibilities. I further implore you to remain proactive, professional and above all prayerful in your approach to divergent situations which may arise,” El-Rufai said.