The Nigerian Army on Thursday denied that it’s troop’s were engaged with anything untoward as portrated in a viral video showing armed soldiers escorting buses allegedly filled with fake voters voters being moved into Anambra state.
According to the Army, the purported video is the handiwork of mischief makers bent on discrediting the force from performing its constitutional roles.
The Army insisted that contrary to the lies being peddled in the video, troop’s were conveying INEC permanent and adhoc staff for the election tasks in Anambra State.
A statement signed by Brig Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, Director, Army Public Relations said, “The Nigerian Army (NA) has noted again the desperation of conflict merchants to discredit its constitutional role of aiding civil authority to provide internal security when called upon to do so.
“The mischief makers, using the social media, shared a video alleging that soldiers were escorting buses filled with fake voters into Anambra State.
“Even though such despicable propaganda images can easily be punctured by any keen observer, however for the sake of posterity, we wish to state without any equivocation, that no soldier of the Nigerian Army indulged in escort of fake voters into Anambra State.
“Contrary to the misleading information, the buses in question were conveying INEC permanent and adhoc staff for the election tasks in Anambra State.
“The Federal Ministry of Information and Culture has corroborated this position. We therefore urge the general public to please disregard the report, as it is clearly a misinformation.
“Our duty in the state at this time is purely security-related and in support of the Nigeria Police, which is the lead security agency in the security architecture of electioneering.
“This is done in collaboration with other security agencies, to ensure a safe and secure atmosphere for peaceful conduct of elections.
“Our troops are guided by extant provisions of Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) Personnel Code of Conduct during elections and the provisions of Armed Forces Act CAP A20 LFN 2004.
“We shall continue to operate along these lines to ensure that peace and security reign in our country.
“We will remain apolitical and very professional in deeds and conduct for the growth and development of democracy in Nigeria.
“We also encourage the political gladiators to refrain from dragging the Nigerian Army and indeed the Armed Forces of Nigeria into the murky waters of politics.
“We assure all Nigerians that the NA remains resolute in carrying out her constitutional duties.
“We urge the good people of Anambra state not to panic and we sincerely appreciate them for being law abiding and for supporting the joint security agencies, who are toiling relentlessly to ensure peace and security in the state.”
IGP restricts vehicular movement from Friday night
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has ordered vehicular restriction in the state with effect from 11:59pm on Friday to 11:59pm on Saturday.
This, he said, was part of measures aimed at protecting the sanctity of the electoral process in the state.
This was contained in a statement on Thursday by the Force spokesman, Frank Mba, titled, ‘Anambra elections: IGP orders restriction of vehicular movement.’
It said, “As part of measures aimed at protecting the sanctity of the electoral process in the November 6, 2021, Anambra State gubernatorial elections, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has ordered the restriction of vehicular movement in and out of Anambra State from 11:59pm on Friday, November 5 to 11:59pm on Saturday, November 6, 2021.
“The IGP noted that the restriction order has become necessary following pointers from the Election Security Threats Assessments conducted by the force which indicate a high likelihood of infiltration by criminally-minded individuals to Anambra State, before, during and after the polls.”
The IGP further noted that the measure would also give security forces a firm grip of the state to checkmate the movement of political thugs and touts, and prevent the free flow, circulation and use of illicit arms and hard drugs throughout the period and beyond.
He enjoined electoral officials, accredited observers and journalists, and other authorised officials to go about their lawful duties during the poll, “provided they observe all relevant rules guiding their deployment including the visible display of their accreditation tags.”
He said police officers and other security personnel deployed for the election would be appropriately supervised to ensure they carry out their responsibilities in the most humane, firm and professional manner, especially to emergency service providers such as firefighters and ambulance services.
Baba further encouraged the citizens, particularly motorists and travellers, who may want to use the routes within Anambra State during the period of the restrictions to seek alternative routes “and see the inconveniences as part of sacrifices toward the collective sustenance of our democracy.”
“He called on citizens in the state to go out en-masse on the election day and exercise their franchise without any fear or apprehension as the force and other security agencies are already on ground to ensure a safe and conducive environment for the elections,” the statement added.