—The Nigerian Army, through Major General Hakeem Oladapo Otiki, promised to keep reasonable distance away from the polling units.
— The supplementary elections are set to hold in Kano, Sokoto, Bauchi, Benue, Plateau and Adamawa states.
The Nigerian Army has promised that its soldiers would only be available at areas identified as Flashpoints. And that they would not be seen at polling units during the governorship and house of assembly supplementary elections.
This was announced by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 Division of the Nigerian Army, Sokoto, Major General Hakeem Oladapo Otiki, while he was interviewed by journalists in Sokoto State.
According to the general, the military would keep a “reasonably safe distance” from the polling units during the supplementary elections that are set to hold in Kano, Sokoto, Bauchi, Benue, Plateau and Adamawa states.
He revealed that they would make sure to be available at the major flashpoints in Sokoto and would provide maximum security in the affected areas.
“We have so many unknown and unseen eyes on grounds in the flashpoints. The military will not be involved directly in the polling units. We shall keep a safe distance as demanded by INEC and our headquarters.
“We are restricted to playing our constitutional role of providing the last line of defence for the security agencies after exercising their roles.
“There is no cause to worry in the rerun elections. Sokoto is a sacred land, and it must not be desecrated because of misinformation. We have instructions to go in line with the natural order and maintain vigilance. To go strictly by the rules of engagement, respect the principal organs that are enshrined with the responsibility of conducting elections.
“We have identified the flashpoints likely to cause a breakdown of law and order, but we will wait for the Police to carry out their constitutional rights.
“The Army will not be at the polling units. We will only be at a safe distance. We can only come up if the line of defence for law-abiding citizens fails, that is when we can now come out. Though, we do not pray for that.
“We have the responsibility to maintain peace before, during and after the elections. Let’s remember that national peace and security is derivable from very robust relationships between and among ourselves.”