from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE Nigerian Army has been dissuaded from meddling in political affairs ahead of general elections in 2023.
Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya, the Chief of Army Staff, issued the warning as he encouraged the troops to instead focus on the war against terror perpetrated by Islamists.
He noted electoral campaigns would soon commence around the West Africa country and warned that “troops must avoid being dragged into any form of politicking.”
“The role of troops during elections, as that of supporting the Nigeria Police, which is the lead agency in the security architecture of elections,” Yahaya said.
“Troops must vigorously protect national economic assets by checking the activities of criminals and economic saboteurs, who are hell bent on sabotaging the oil and gas sector of the nation’s economy.”
The army general assured the troops that their administrative and operational challenges would receive due and prompt attention.
“The welfare of personnel is paramount in my command,” said Yahaya.
Africa’s largest country by population (estimated at 215 million), Nigeria is synonymous with military coups, which ended with the advent of civilian rule in 1999.
Current president, a retired Army Major General, staged a coup that deposed President Shehu Shagari in 1983.
Buhari was overthrown in a coup led by General Ibrahim Babangida in 1985.
He was re-elected in 2015 and retained power in the 2019 polls.
– CAJ News