The Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has today described how the Nigerian army intends to stop ballot box snatchers.
He said the officers would adopt a proactive posture that will stop thuggery, snatching of ballot boxes, illegal possession of elections materials and similar crimes during Saturday’s elections.
Buratai, who noted that such incidents in past elections were often planned and orchestrated by politicians, said that the army had hitherto been cautious in its approach.
NAN reports that the Army chief stated this at an expanded weekly meeting with Principal Staff Officers (PSOs), General Officers Commanding (GOCs) and some field commanders at the army headquarters in Abuja.
According to Buratai: “thuggery, snatching of ballot boxes, illegal possession of elections materials and similar crimes are intended to mar an election and create deliberate avenues for post-election violence and mayhem.
“However, this time around the Nigerian army will adopt a proactive posture that ensures that similar incidents do not even arise.
“Hence those who seek to undermine its democracy by interfering in its electoral process must be seen as enemies and dealt with appropriately.
“Our role is aptly captured in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and we must defend Nigeria’s territorial integrity as well as act in aid of civil authority when called upon to do so.
“Therefore, commanders must work with all stakeholders, interest groups and agencies to avert any act by any individual, groups or entities that seek to undermine our democratic process.’’