In a remarkable display of readiness and commitment to ensuring a safe and secure environment for the upcoming off-cycle gubernatorial election, the Combined Force for Operation Safe Conduct has been launched in Kogi with a Show of Force.
The operation was officially flagged off at the Headquarters 12 Brigade Nigerian Army Parade Ground Chari Maigumeri Barrack Lokoja on Monday, by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Bamidele Alabi.
According to the GOC, the flag off signposts the readiness and preparations the Nigerian Army has over the years put in place in support of other stakeholders in the electoral process in Nigeria and Kogi State in particular.
“It also emphasized the importance of Operation Safe Conduct in preserving the peace and security of the state during the electioneering period as well as ensuring that the people of Kogi State could exercise their rights to vote in a safe and secure environment,” Alabi said.
The GOC urged citizens to cooperate with the security agencies and report any suspicious activities that would undermine the peaceful conduct of the election in Kogi on Saturday.
He stressed that the launch of Operation Safe Conduct in Kogi would send a clear message that the security forces were fully prepared and committed to ensuring a violence-free and fair electoral process.
“With the combined force in place, residents and voters can look forward to exercising their civic duties in an atmosphere of safety and security.
“As the election day draws closer, the joint efforts of the security agencies in Kogi State with the full support of the Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Taoreed Lagbaja will play a pivotal role in upholding the democratic values of the nation and preserving the peace in the state.
“Citizens are therefore enjoined to come out en masse to exercise their rights and be assured that the Security Agencies will deal ruthlessly with anybody who wants to foment trouble or disrupt the electoral process,” Maj. Gen Alabi said.
The GOC equally warned bandits, ballot box snatchers, and criminal elements who would want to disguise themselves as security agents to desist from such nefarious acts in their own interest, saying measures are in place to swiftly apprehend and deal decisively with them.