The Chief of Army Staff, Major. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Thursday, assured that the military and other security agencies would give adequate attention to the security of lives and property before, during and after the 2019 elections.
Buratai who stated this in Owo, headquarters of Owo Local Government Area of Ondo state, during the inauguration of the Operation ‘Egwe Eke III’ said the military and other security agencies would ensure that there is no hiding place for kidnappers and other criminals who have threatened the peace of the state recently.
Buratai who was represented by the General Officer Commanding 2 Division of Nigerian Army, Major. Gen. Okwudili Azinta, said the exercise was inaugurated in the state to checkmate the security challenges confronting the state and also to curb any threat that may arise before, during and after the 2019 elections
He disclosed that troops would be deployed to flashpoints across the state, saying that the exercise would be carried out both on land and water.
He said, “this exercise which will be on from today till February 24 to checkmate the activities of criminals before, during and after the coming elections.
“Our men will be everywhere in the state both on land and water to check the threat of criminals who might want to latch on the current security situation in the country and Ondo State to cause trouble.
“Let me also assure the people of the state that there will not be hidden place for kidnappers in the state.”
He, however, warned politicians against engaging the youths to carry out nefarious activities for the purpose of the election, assuring that men of the military would be ready to handle and curtail political hooliganism during and after the election.
Speaking during the launching, the State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, pledged to continue to support the security agencies within the available resources in carrying out their constitutional responsibilities.
Akeredolu who revealed that no meaningful development could take place in a society devoid of peace said that the state government would patner with all security agencies to ensure criminals are wiped out.
The governor assured that more efforts would be geared towards the procurement of more necessary equipments and patrol vehicles for security agencies in the state to stem down the rate of criminal activities in the state.
He commended the military and other security agencies in the state over the synergy among them, expressing optimism that the cooperation would go a long way to flush out criminal activities.
“I am made to understand that this is an internal security exercise that will be conducted on both land and water with a view to checkmating the diverse security challenges prevalent in the Southern region of the country including militancy, vandalism of oil and gas infrastructure, piracy, kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism and illegal bunkering, among others
“I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the Nigerian Army is capable of flushing out the criminal elements among us, with the recent achievement in the ongoing internal security operations in the state embarked upon by the officers and men of the 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure.
“We, therefore, attach a great importance to the issue of security in all parts of the state. We have of recent, witnessed an upsurge in criminalities especially kidnapping, cultism and army robbery.”