Polls: Army chief warns politicians against inciting violence


Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General KT Minimah has declared that any politician or group of politicians who instigate violence during the elections should be ready to face organized violence in return.

“Regarding the question of security before, during and post elections, I want to say the Armed Forces, the Police and other security organisations have made adequate arrangements for security during the general and local elections in a few days and a few weeks coming,” he said.

“I do not envisage any issues because this is just an election and it will come and go; though we know there are also elements within the political class that will not want a normal election process to come and be put behind us.

“I will appeal to politicians and their followers and supporters to keep the peace; maintain the peace and ensure a violence-free election. I will appeal to law-abiding Nigerians to come out en-masse, vote for candidates of their choice without fear of intimidation, without fear for their safety. It is their right to vote.

“And whoever wants to invoke or provoke violence would meet organised violence waiting for him. Whoever threatens violence will meet violence.”

When asked why soldiers are still on the streets when a court order had barred them from elections, Minimah said: “I can interpret it this way. This is not our first elections in this country. You have seen several elections in Nigeria and you have seen soldiers providing security for the elections. Have you at any time seen soldiers at polling booths? Have you seen soldiers counting ballots or carrying ballot materials, ballot papers, ballot boxes or whatever?”