Nigeria: Stay away from polling centres after your vote, NAF warns officers
London, Feb. 2, 2019 (AltAfrica)- Ahead of Nigeria 2019 general elections, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar has told officers and men of Air Force that they have no business with polling centres warning that election security responsibility lay with the Nigeria Police
Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar said the when it comes to election matters, police was the lead agency, along with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and other civil security agencies.
Abubakar stated this when he held meeting with Air Officers Commanding (AOCs) and Commanders of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Units across the Country to brief them on their responsibilities during the elections at the NAF headquarters in Abuja.
According to him, the police and other civil security agencies are constitutionally tasked with ensuring peaceful conduct of the general elections.
The Air Chief then told his officers that, what was required of the NAF was to ensure that Commands and Units prepare contingency plans that could be activated in the event of any breakdown of law and order.
He stated further that it was critical that all NAF personnel operate within the armbits of the Nigerian Constitution as well as in accordance with the Code of Conduct promulgated by Defence Headquarters (DHQ) for members of the Armed Forces during elections.
He stressed that all NAF personnel must remain apolitical and sternly resist any entreaties by unscrupulous politicians to get them involved in partisan politics.
AM Abubakar implored the AOCs and Commanders to remain focused on the discharge of their constitutionally assigned tasks, whilst ensuring that their personnel abide by the instructions contained in the Code of Conduct.
He also emphasised that personnel were free to exercise their constitutional rights to vote for the candidates of their choice on the various election days.
Furthermore, the Air Chief disclosed that the NAF was ready to avail the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) its transport aircraft to enable the expeditious movement of electoral materials, as done in the past, should INEC require such support.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of booklets on ‘Code of Conduct for the Armed Forces of Nigeria during Elections’ to AOCs and Commanders, represented by the Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command, Air Vice Marshal John Baba.
The Code of Conduct, according to Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, Director of Public Relations and Information Nigerian Air Force, highlights the importance of elections and specified the responsibilities of Commanders and all military personnel while stipulating the responsibilities of personnel assigned for special electoral duties.