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95% of troops to be deployed for election duties – Army

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The Nigerian Army has said it will deploy 95 percent of its troops for security engagements during the forthcoming general elections.

This was made known on Thursday in a statement by its Spokesman, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, in Abuja in reaction to rumours on social media that the troops were being paid uniform allowances to sway their votes for a particular party.

Brig Gen Usman said: “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to some insinuations on various social media platforms that the recent payment of uniform allowance to officers and soldiers was done to sway their voting towards a particular political party. This is not true.

“The payment of uniform allowance was started in 2016 to assist troops deployed on Operation LAFIYA DOLE as uniform upkeep and maintenance.

“The allowance was however extended to all Nigerian Army personnel because of their increasing engagement in various Internal Security Operations across the country.

“It is important to note that 95 per cent of Nigerian Army troops will be engaged in security duties during the forthcoming general elections.

“Out of this, almost 40 per cent are in the North East. Therefore, it is gross unfair and sheer mischief to associate the Nigerian Army with such mundane action.

“We therefore implore all well- meaning Nigerians to dissociate themselves from such fake and unwarranted information calculated to smear the Nigerian Army.

“Although investigation is ongoing to ascertain the source of such malicious allegations, we would like to warn such unpatriotic individuals to stop this mischief forthwith.

”We would like to further warn all officers and soldiers to desist from acts that are inimical to Service discipline and code of conduct and reiterate the Chief of Army Staff’s warning during his conference with General Officers Commanding and Operations Commanders that,

“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 is 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.

“The Nigerian Army has always been professional, impartial and apolitical. We wish to state that no amount of campaign of calumny against it would change that”.

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