The Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai has revealed that the Military authorities have received reports of “mischievous plans by some unscrupulous elements” in connivance with foreign collaborators to disrupt the peaceful conduct of the 2019 General Elections in some parts of the country.
He said this in Gembu, Taraba state, during the inauguration of Forward Operation Base (FOB) in Mambilla plateau.
Buratai said such miscreants would be decisively dealt with, if they do not desist from their evil plans.
He further revealed that the Army is working closely with the Nigeria Police and other security agencies to ensure an enabling environment for the citizens to exercise their franchise.
Buratai also charged field Commanders at all levels to decisively deal with any form of aberration.
The army chief said Exercise EGWU EKE III that was launched recently across the country, would combat all forms of criminal activities and provide safe and secure environment for the conduct of the 2019 General Elections.
He said recent upsurge in deadly attacks between armed militia and ethnic groups in the Mambilla Plateau, which resulted in colossal loss of lives and property, and increased activities of Separatist Movements from Cameroon with its adverse effect on our border communities in Taraba State, necessitated the establishment of the FOB.
“This FOB would therefore serve as a Firm Base for the conduct of wide range of military operations such as patrols, raids, cordon and search among others to arrest criminal elements and seize illegal arms and ammunition with a view to curtail activities of armed militias,” he said.
The army chief said security challenges in the country have necessitated the deployment of troops to primarily curtail incessant and protracted cases of sectarian violence, farmers/herders conflict, kidnapping, armed robbery, economic sabotage and insurgency.
He employed troops to remain vigilant and effectively conduct swift, robust and intensive operations in order to ensure peace and security within the Mambilla Plateau.
“For the commanders and other personnel of this FOB, I urge you to remain professional in the discharge of your constitutional responsibilities and ensure synergy with other security agencies and all stakeholders within your area of responsibility,” he said.
“The challenges before you are daunting but I am confident that you are equal to the task. You are to note that all your actions must be guided by the tenets of military professionalism and must be in conformity with global best practices.”
In his remarks, the Governor of Taraba state, Arc. Darius Ishaku, said establishment of the FOB would go along way in sustaining peace and ensuring adequate security within the Mambilla Plateau.
He said the efforts of the army and other security agencies had yielded positive result as the state was now experiencing relative peace.
Ishaku urged the army and other security agencies to provide adequate security to ensure hitch free elections.