Burutai::Election-Referendum Clash: Army Chief Buratai Orders Total Clampdown On IPOB,
Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, has given an order to the General Officer Commanding (GOC) and Formation Commanders (Brigade Commanders) in the South East Area of Responsibility (AOR) to immediately embark on a clampdown on the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other such groups. Buratai made this known at the opening of the 2019 Chief of Army Staff conference in Abuja on Monday, to review the conduct of Egwu Eke III. The conference was also to appraise the preparations being made by various formations towards the smooth execution of Op Safe Conduct before, during and after the 2019 general election. Speaking on the reason for the clampdown directive, Buratai said: “This is because the activities of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and their splinter groups in the South Eastern part of the country are gaining momentum as the group is threatening to disrupt the 2019 electoral process.
Their excesses must, therefore, be clamped down immediately." He noted that political clashes in Taraba and a few other states called for enhanced liaison between Commanders, the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies in order to de-escalate tension as quickly as possible. The COAS disclosed that Army has credible information of subversive motives by some unpatriotic groups aided by foreign conspirators to scuttle the peaceful conduct of the 2019 elections in parts of the country and warned such detractors to desist from carrying out illegal activities. He said the Nigerian Army would be working closely with the Nigeria Police and other security agencies to ensure smooth conduct of the elections. “In this regard, GOCs and field Commanders at all levels are to deal decisively with any form of security breach. "All Nigerian Army personnel must remain neutral, non-partisan and transparent in all their actions. “I need to reiterate that there will be zero tolerance for any action and in-action by Commanders at all levels that are deemed tilted towards giving undue advantage to any candidate, political party, ethnic or religious leanings to the detriment of the unity and integrity of Nigeria. “This includes knowingly or unknowingly receiving any form of inducement from politicians or other entities, be it public or private “I have issued my operational directives for Operation Safe Conduct for the 2019 general election. The Nigerian Army has also produced a Code of Conduct Handbook for personnel to guide them during the elections and copies have been distributed to all formations. “You are to ensure that all personnel read and imbibe its contents and those deployed for Op Safe Conduct are to be issued a copy each." By Deen