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Bayelsa supports army’s role in elections

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Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur BurataiChief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai

By Johnson Eyiangho/Frank Shedrack

Bayelsa Deputy Governor John Jonah has defended the military’s role in providing security and called on Nigerians not to blame the army for its involvement in the 2019 general elections.

Jonah said on Saturday at Elebele in Yenogoa at the inauguration of some projects in the 16 Brigade Barracks otherwise known as “Tukur Buratai Camp”.

The deputy governor said he had investigated the army’s involvement in the elections and found that what they did was not different from what the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, had said.

He appealed to Nigerians to continue to support the army which he described as a stabilising factor, to discharge its duties.

Buratai had at different fora said the constitution empowers the army to support civil authority in addressing internal security challenges when called upon, citing Section 217 of the 1999 constitution as amended.

The army chief said this role also extended to providing security during elections.

He, however, warned those deployed for the conduct of the elections to be professional, respect human rights and remain apolitical.

Earlier, while inaugurating building projects in the barracks, Buratai who was represented by Maj.-Gen. A. A. Saliu, the Commander, Training and Doctrine Command – TRADOC, charged commanders to always impact positively on their environment.

He promised more fund to provide required infrastructure in the Brigade and army formations across the country.

Buratai also called on the citizens to cooperate with the military by providing it with useful information to enable it ensure their safety.

Also speaking, the GOC 6 Division Port Harcourt, Maj.-Gen. Jail Sarham noted that the Brigade would assist in addressing security challenges in Bayelsa and the Niger Delta in general.

Sarham thanked the state government for the assistance it provided for the construction of the barracks.

In his welcome address, Brig.-Gen. Kelvin Aligbe, the Brigade Commander, said what was required in the new barracks now was perimeter fence, parade ground and officers’ quarters.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the building inaugurated included Guard house, a two-storey medical centre, Brigade Garrison, Soldiers and Warrant Officers/Sergeant clubs and a block of 30 flats for Corporal and below. (NAN)

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