In a significant development, the Nigerian Armed Forces announced on Tuesday their readiness to ensure a violence-free poll in the upcoming off-season elections in Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa states. Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, sternly warned political actors to refrain from any acts of violence, cautioning them about the consequences they would face at the hands of the military.
General Musa made these remarks during the maiden official visit of the Minister of Defence Alhaji Badaru and Minister of State for Defence Bello Mattawale to the military high command. Emphasizing the importance of democratic processes, General Musa stated, “We are 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.”
Calling upon all stakeholders to join hands in maintaining a peaceful environment during the elections, General Musa emphasized the gravity of any loss of life for the sake of exercising the right to vote. He stated, “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 high command also seized the opportunity to urge the Federal Government to prioritize the modernization of the military, improve its funding, and provide better accommodation for officers and soldiers. Expressing appreciation for the leadership of the Minister of Defence since assuming office, General Musa declared the loyalty of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) to the constitution and the president. He commended the minister for his commitment and thanked him for the visit, stating unequivocally that AFN is fully behind the president and loyal to the constitution.
Furthermore, General Musa called upon the federal government to address critical issues such as the modernization of the armed forces, treatment of wounded soldiers, foreign training opportunities, improved funding, and adequate training and accommodation for personnel and officers. He highlighted the AFN’s remarkable success in countering terrorism, with over 140,000 terrorists having surrendered due to the superior firepower of the armed forces.
In response, Minister Alhaji Badaru expressed his admiration for the AFN’s exceptional performance, acknowledging the president’s awareness of their achievements in combating criminals. He assured General Musa that all the requests made by the military would receive the attention of the president, stating, “You are doing fantastically well. The president is aware of your hitting of these criminals. We commend you for your effort towards boosting the morale of troops. All your requests will surely be attended to by the president. I will remind him.”
The Nigerian Armed Forces, under the leadership of General Christopher Musa, reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring peaceful off-season elections in Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa states. With a strong plea for non-violence and the urgent need for military modernization, the AFN stands ready to fulfill its constitutional duty and protect the integrity of the electoral process.