Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, on Tuesday vowed that the military high command under his watch would never allow intimidation and any other act of violence in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa States where governorship elections would be held.
Musa, who stated this at Defence Headquarters, Abuja, while playing host to the Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru, stressed that the military was well-prepared for the off-cycle elections in the three states, saying efforts have been put in place to ensure there was no violence before, during and after the exercise.
Daily Trust reports that gubernatorial elections in the three states have been fixed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for Saturday, November 11, 2023.
Speaking during the visit, Musa told the gathering that the military would stop at nothing to ensure the polls in the three states are devoid of violence.
“We are also prepared for the coming elections in the three states of Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa states. I want to ensure that the elections go on democratically, without any fear or intimidation.
“We don’t want any violence. I want to appeal to all stakeholders that it does nobody any good if anybody is killed because we have to go and vote. So it is important that we all put hands on deck.
“We will make sure that the elections are free and they are peaceful so that the results can also bring out what people want,” the defence chief stated.
The CDS also disclosed that the federal government had allocated special funds for the treatment of soldiers wounded at the various theatres of operations across the federation, adding that the development would boost the morale of troops on the frontline.
He added, “President, we want to say thank you for the improved funding for the armed forces. We know the situation on the ground that the armed forces are doing the best they can, but we are limited due to the dearth of funding.
“Also, there are special funds for medical care. What we realise is the morale of our troops. They see how the injured are treated. If they’re not treated well, they will never want to be committed. But we are happy to see how they are doing and we are happy that more have been promised and more will be done.”
He then urged the minister to sign the harmonized terms and conditions of service.
The Defence Chief, however, assured the president that despite the wave of military coups in West Africa, the military would protect the nation’s democracy.
He said, “We want to assure the President and to you all Sir, that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is fully committed to democracy. We will do whatever it takes to ensure that we protect our nascent democracy and for it to thrive and to also extend the same to the sub-region because we know we have the capacity and we are happy”