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CDS warns against use of military uniforms to scuttle elections

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin, has warned against illegal use of military uniforms and firearms to scuttle the 2019 general elections.…

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin, has warned against illegal use of military uniforms and firearms to scuttle the 2019 general elections.

Olonisakin spoke after a meeting with other Service Chiefs and Heads of Security agencies at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) on Thursday in Abuja.

He said, “We are not unaware of plans to illegally use uniforms of military and paramilitary agencies to impersonate security and law enforcement agencies.”

“Illegal possession and use of firearms to intimidate and harass members of the public; and other acts likely to cause security breaches,” he added.

He warned that the Armed Forces and other security agencies will not tolerate any act that is likely to cause security breaches before, during and after the elections.

He said, “We will deal decisively with these acts irrespective of those involved.”

He also said members of the public should disregard the call to stay at home on the day of the election being circulated in some parts of the country.

He said, “The stay-at-home leaflets being circulated and similar online messages are part of the handiwork of mischief-makers who are bent on scuttling the process and should be ignored.”

He assured that the security services are prepared to support the Police to ensure safe conduct of the elections.

He said law enforcement agencies will remain apolitical, adding that, Code of Conduct for the Armed Forces for the 2019 General Elections have been issued to the Services and security personnel that will be deployed for election security duties.

He said all other personnel who are not deployed for election security duties have been directed to steer clear of the elections apart from exercising their rights to vote for candidates of their choice.

He appealed to Nigerians to adhere to the restrictions on movement during the period of the elections, adding that violators of the restriction on movement, no matter how highly placed, will be arrested and detained.

He noted that the restriction does not apply to those on election security duties, local and international observers, monitors and emergency and security services personnel on authorized duties.

He said there have also been several inter-agency collaborations and harmonization of strategies, to ensure a hitch-free election.

“The meeting we have just had involved the heads of these agencies to ensure we further harmonize our strategies to provide adequate security for the smooth conduct of the general elections,” Olonisakin said.

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