2019 elections: Bayelsa Gov differs with INEC, absolves Army of blame

The Governor of Bayelsa state, Seriake Dickson, has asked Nigrrians not to blame the Nigerian Army for performing its duties during the last general elections.

The governor stated this on Saturday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, during the inauguration of projects at the 16 Brigade Barracks, known as Tukur Buratai Camp.

Dickson who was represented by the deputy Governor, John Jonah, said he has investigated the role of the Nigerian Army and discovered that it was not different from what was said by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on Friday indicted Army and accused its personnel of delaying elections in Rivers state.

But the Army Chief had at different times said the military involvement during elections was to assist the Nigeria Police to provide security that would ensure peaceful conduct of the elections.

Section 217 of the Nigeria Constitution empowers the military to help in ensuring peace in the country whenever they are called upon by the civil authorities.

On Saturday, the Bayelsa governor further urged Nigerians to appreciate the Nigerian Army for the peaceful conduct of the elections, instead of criticising its operations.

In his remarks, Lt. Gen.Buratai said the establishment of the 16 Brigade in Bayelsa state  was critical to the security architecture of the Niger Delta region.

Represented by the Commander Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Maj. General A.A Salihu, Buratai the projects inaugurated met the standard and urged the Brigade Commander, Brig. General Kevin Aligbe, to maintain the tempo.

Buratai said more fund would be made available to complete other projects.

The Army Chief charged all  commanders to impact positively in their areas of responsibilities.

He also urged Nigerians to always appreciate the sacrifices made by troops in ensure peace and security in the country that has propel economic development across the country.

In his remarks, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Maj. General Jamil Sarham, commended the COAS for providing funds for the building of the projects.

He assured that personnel of the Division would continue to loyal and perfume their duties professionally. The GOC also commend the troops of the Brigade in making the Nigerian Army proud in the manner they perform their duties in their Brigades area of responsibilities.

The Paramount ruler of Elebele community, the community where the Brigade Barracks is situated, thanked the Nigerian Army for renovating and providing reading materials to some schools in the community.

He said citing the Brigade in the community had been a blessing.

Among projects inaugurated are: a two-storey building Medical center, a one storey building  Guards house, a one-storey building Brigade Garrison, Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess, Soldiers Club, Magazine House, and a block of 30 flats for Corporal and Below Quarters (CBQ).

The 16 Brigade was established on November 17, 2016 in line with the 2016 Order of Battle (OBAT).

It was later operationalised by the Chief of Army Staff in February 28, 2017, while the ground breaking ceremony was performed on March 5, 2018.

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