• Action not show of force, says spokesman
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) will hold a route march across the country on November 18, coinciding with the date of the Anambra State governorship election.
Assuring residents of the state of adequate security before, during and after the poll, the DHQ said the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division of the Nigerian Army would determine security arrangements in the state, disclosing that the nation’s armed forces, paramilitary institutions and other security agencies would participate in the march.
Speaking at a press conference on the planned event in Abuja yesterday, Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, said security arrangements on the election would be based on analysis of situation on the ground by the GOC and other military formations.
Saying there was no reason for any confusion or alarm over the exercise, he appealed to Nigerians not to misconstrue the route march as a show of force, stressing that the nation’s entire security architecture would be involved.
Enenche dismissed the ‘vote and die’ threat by the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), calling on Nigerians to “go about their normal businesses without fear”.
He urged people not to panic regarding the military activity, as there would be movement of troops across the country. He explained that the objective of the march was to ensure that the armed forces, para-military institutions and security agencies had greater cooperation among themselves.
He disclosed that the exercise would commence at 0600 hours in Abuja and other parts of the country.He said: “The physical fitness of members of the security and response agencies is germane to the effectiveness of its members, especially in the face of contemporary security challenges in the country. In the same vein, group interaction through an exercise such as route march is an enhancer of espirit de corps and harmony among members of the agencies.
“It is in view of these, that a route march exercise titled, ‘Together We Are’, is being conducted on quarterly basis, involving the military, paramilitary and security responses agencies in Nigeria. It is expected that the aim and objective of the exercise will be achieved like the maiden one.”
The general public is hereby notified that there will be movement of troops and other security agencies in the course of this exercise. Your cooperation and understanding is highly solicited.”