Ensure credible polls, Okorocha tells army

Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has urged the military to ensure that the 2019 general elections are free and fair.

The governor made the call when the new General Officer Commanding, 82 Division, Enugu, Major General Abubakar Maikobi, paid him visit at the Government House, Owerri, on Friday.

Okorocha also called on the military to severely deal with politicians who give hoodlums army and police uniforms during elections in order to perpetrate electoral fraud.

The governor stressed that it was time for everyone to work to save the country’s democracy.

He said, “You have been posted at a critical time in the period of electioneering. We request that the military should do the needful to ensure free and fair elections. I have no doubt that the army will do the needful by ensuring free conduct of these elections.

“We are not unmindful of the fact that some unpopular and unpatriotic politicians sew army, police and navy uniforms and give them to louts or hoodlums to use during elections.

“I urge the army to start by fishing out these unpatriotic politicians and ensure that they get the kind of punishment they deserve to help our democracy.

“One of the major problems we have as a nation is that people who are not chosen by the people are seen holding public offices because they did not win the right way.

“This is the major problem of our democracy. I urge you to correct this aspect of our democracy by ensuring free and fair polls.

“In Imo State, going by public opinion, the people already know who will be their governor, senators, House of Representatives members, etc.

 “But sometimes, it comes to them as a rude shock when somebody they never expected would win emerges as the winner through manipulations. This is a time for everyone to ensure that our democracy is saved.”

Maikobi had earlier said the purpose of the visit was to inform the governor that he had taken over as the GOC of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu.

The army commander also shed light on Operation Python Dance 3, or Egwueke 3, which recently commenced in the South-East.

“I have also come to inform you that we have started ‘Operation Egwueke 3’ in the South-East with the headquarters at Abakiliki, Ebonyi State.

“For ease of command and administration, we have divided the command into sectors, one in Owerri. The exercise is not aimed at any person or group. Our purpose is to apply every effort within our capacity to tackle criminals and criminality.

 “We will work in accordance with the law and create an atmosphere of peace within our different localities.

“Our relationship with the people will be most cordial and the people have nothing to fear as our men have been warned to work according to rules and procedures,” the GOC said.
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