The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa, has assured Nigerians that there won’t be any military coup in the country with the ongoing trend in some African states. He said the armed forces were ready to protect Nigeria’s territorial integrity and ensure that democracy strives.
This was in response to the call made by the Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara has, urging the military to be professional in order not to truncate the success of the forthcoming off-season election in some selected states in Nigeria.
General Musa, who spoke during a visit to the 6 Division, Nigerian Army Port Harcourt, to inaugurate projects, said Nigerians should have no fear as members of the armed forces are happy and committed to discharging their duties professionally.
“I want Nigerians to be assured that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is here for them, we are here to protect them, we are here for democracy and so they should exercise no fear.
“We have had a number of coups in Africa such as Burkina Faso and Niger and there were a lot of apprehension, so we are assuring Nigerians that the armed forces is committed in standing by democracy, that’s why the President being the head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is very decisive in decisions taken against coup.
“We assure that nothing like such will happen in Nigeria and that all members of the armed forces are happy,” he said.
On insecurity and oil theft in the Niger Delta region, he said the army would leverage on technology to fight the menace. He called on those involved in illegal bunkering and oil theft to stop as the army was out for them.
“The president has approved funds for us to buy enablers to assist us in fighting this menace of crude oil theft and criminality and we are going to leverage a lot on technology, and we want to appeal to all those criminals that we are coming after them and so it’s good and wise that they should stop. “We are dedicated and committed in restoring peace in the oil sector and we want the crude oil production of Nigeria to grow so that Nigeria can enjoy the dividends of democracy,” Musa said.
On the issue of elections, in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo States, Musa assured Nigerians that the armed forces would be professional in their conduct and ensure that the elections were free and fair.
He further warned ballot box snatchers and troublemakers to stay away from the elections.
“As you know, three states of Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa will have elections this year and we are also assuring of adequate security. We want it to be free and fair to enable every voter to be able to come out without fear of being intimidated by anyone.
“And to also send a warning to all those used to the old ways of using violence to intimidate people and stealing ballot boxes that those days are gone. Anybody that is caught trying to intimidate anybody or cause any mayhem in any of the three states will have himself to blame”, he warned.
Fubara, who hosted the CDS on a courtesy visit to Government House in Port Harcourt, noted that President Bola Tinubu was also interested in a free and fair election in order to allow the will of the electorate to prevail.
He added: “So, I want to thank you for taking the pains going from one state to another having the election in couple of days to put the right things in place. I strongly believe that this off-season election is going to be transparent and one of the best ever conducted.”
Fubara applauded the Army, Navy and Airforce for the various role played, complimenting the Nigerian Police, in helping to ensure security of Rivers State.Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt