Nigerian military chief seeks adequate security ahead of polls

17:35, March 01, 2011      

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Nigeria's Chief of Army Staff Azubuike Ihejirika has decried the spate of insecurity in the country, saying it has posed great challenges to the April general elections.

Ihejirika said this in northern Nigeria' s restless Plateau State on Monday at a military workshop, adding that the current dimensions of the problem called for the involvement of the military.

"You are all aware of the challenges posed by ethno-religious upheavals, terrorism, armed banditry, kidnapping and other forms of insecurity in our nation today," the military chief said.

"The dimension of these challenges is such that our involvement in internal security duties is paramount. This trend is likely to prevail as we approach the April 2011 general elections," he added.

Ihejirika noted that President Goodluck Jonathan has been very pleased with the performance of the military and challenged the men not only to maintain but improve upon their performances.

He urged the military to be proactive and be highly professional in every sense as they are being deployed to discharge their duties in line with the operational directives and orders.

"Let me note that democracy has come to stay in Nigeria. In this wise, the Army shall continue to remain the symbol of unity in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities," he said.

"I, therefore, urge you to remain apolitical and duly committed to the sustenance of democracy at all times," the army chief added.

He challenged the officers and men to earn the support and admiration of the civil populace through professional conduct.

Source: Xinhua

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