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Avoid politicking, COAS urges troops ahead of 2023 elections

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By DESMOND EJIBAS

PORT HARCOURT- The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has warned troops of the Nigeria Army to avoid being dragged into politicking as the 2023 general elections approached.

Yahaya spoke at a three-day ‘Second Senior Command and Leadership Seminar’ in Port Harcourt on Wednesday for commanders of various formations across the country.

The seminar had the theme: ‘’Building the Capacity of Nigerian Army to Meet Contemporary Security Challenges in a Joint Environment: The Role of Senior Leadership.”

According to him, no personnel will be allowed to participate in the elections or support any candidate as stipulated by the extant laws guarding the service.

“So, I want to remind all commanders that as the electioneering season approaches the political landscape is likely to become more tense across the geopolitical zones.

“Engagement of political thugs; use of hate speeches and other inimical activities by desperate politicians and their supporters will likely instigate a more fragile security situation in the coming days.

 “I charge commanders at all levels to ensure that troops under command are adequately enlightened on the need to be apolitical and eschew all political vices.

“To this end, all army personnel must act within the ambit of the law; the provisions of the extant rule of engagement and code of conduct for the elections in 2023,” he said.

Yahaya said the army would adopt a more superior system of operation to harness the collective potentials of all security stakeholders in the coming days and weeks.

The army chief added the seminar was organised to brainstorm and proffer solutions to challenges confronting ongoing operations in the country.

“Our current operating environment is dynamic and has continued to expose new threats which require deeper insights to successfully overcome them.

“So, the forum offers senior commanders the opportunity to engage one another and introspect on our existing operational model so as to identify gaps.

“Resource persons invited, including academic practitioners, security and intelligence experts, retired officers and social media influencers, will contribute ideas towards addressing national security challenges,” he added.

Yahaya said the army under his command was passionate towards ensuring that troops were adequately trained, equipped and motivated to perform their constitutional roles in support of the Federal Government.

Maj.-Gen. Olufemi Oluyede, the General Officer Commanding 6 Division, Nigeria Army, Port Harcourt, said the seminar was also organised to expose senior officers to ways to protect the image of the army.

According to him, the participating senior officers are drawn from army headquarters and all army formations in the South West, South South and South East.

“This seminar is organised, considering that our contemporary threat and operating environment demanded astute and innovative leadership competences from our commanders,” he said. (NAN)

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