Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha has urged the Military to ensure free and fair election during this year’s poll.
The Imo governor also called for severe punishment for politicians who clothe hoodlums with Army and Police uniforms during elections.
He stated that the political thugs who wear the unauthorized uniforms commit heinous crimes during the elections.
Okorocha gave the charge when the new General Officer Commanding (GOC) the 82 Division of the Nigeria Army, Enugu paid, Major General A. C. Maikobi, him courtesy call Thursday, at the Government House Owerri.
He noted that “this is the time all hands must be on deck and ensure that the nation’s democracy is saved”.
According to him, “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 election. 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 sow Army, Police and Navy uniforms and give them to touts 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”.
He continued that, “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 won through backyard backyards. This is the major problem of our democracy. I urge you to correct this aspect of our democracy by ensuring free and fair Poll.
“In Imo State, going by public opinion the people already know who will be their governor, Senators, House of Representatives etc. They know all of them by the way they pronounce them and their actions but sometimes it comes to them as a rude shock when somebody they never expected, emerges and the person did so through manipulations. This is a time for all hands to be on deck and ensure that our democracy is saved”.
He also added that, “We have all agreed that democracy is the best way of government but in this present democracy comes a lot of problems. It brings hatred, gossips, bickering and all forms of evil activities. I want to urge all Nigerians to know that no matter what happens, we are members of this one family called Nigeria and we are duty bound to protect the integrity of Nigeria”.
In his speech earlier, Major General Maikobi said he had come with his team to inform the governor that he has taken over as the GOC of the 82 Division of the Nigeria Army Enugu and to also inform him that they have flagged off operation Egwueke 3 in the Southeast with their headquarters at Abakiliki, Ebonyi State.
He said, “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 checkmate 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 laid down rules and principles”.