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DHQ uncovers plot to use military uniform to disrupt elections in Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi

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Chidimma Uchegbu – Abuja.

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), on Thursday, ahead of saturday’s gubernatorial elections in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa States raised alarm over uncovered plot by some subversive elements to adorn in military uniform to disrupt the off-season elections this weekend.

Director of Defence Media Operations, (DMO) Major General Edward Buba, made this disclosure while briefing Defence Correspondents in Abuja on the activities of the Troops of the Armed Forced of Nigeria (AFN) and other security forces in the six geo-political zones of the country against insurgency activities .

Gen. Buba averred, “for the off-season elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States this weekend. Here is a message for you. The military is deployed in strength for the election to create a safe environment for voters to peacefully come out and cast their votes. However, we are aware of plans for some to disguise themselves in military gear to orchestrate havoc and disrupt elections in some areas. Our message to such a group is that there will be injurious consequences for such an action”.

The Director told the media that the military will not fold its arms and watch its image dragged into the mud.

,,”There is no cause for concern, there is adequate security arrangements on ground to guarantee adequate security for the entire law abiding citizens before , during and after the polls, right now troops, equipment and other logistics are being deployed to the affected states where the elections are taken place on Saturday to complement the security arrangements on ground”.

According to him , the military is inflicting severe damage on the terrorists, insurgents, and violent extremists through its operations across the country, adding that the troops are targeting their leadership, infrastructure, and foot soldiers.

 

Gen. Buba said that troops, across all theatres of operations, killed no fewer than 113 terrorists, and arrested 300, in one week.

He added that 49 illegal refining sites were uncovered and destroyed by the troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria deployed to the South-South region, while 25 oil thieves were arrested and 91 kidnapped hostages rescued.

The Director of Media Operations, further revealed that the military will court-martial erring personnel who are not only sabotaging the effort of the military but bringing its precious reputation to disrepute.

He said: “It is important to highlight that the AFN is a disciplined and well-trained force that conducts its operation within the ambit of laws governing human rights and that of armed conflict. We have rules of engagement that are followed in the course of our actions. Nevertheless, there are standing court martials to put on trial any erring personnel that is found wanting during operations. There is, therefore, the need for us to be circumspect of groups and organisations that embark on misinformation and disinformation to give the military a negative image. They have ulterior motives for their actions. For instance, the circulation of old footage of incidents that occurred in yesteryears that have been tried at court-martial as though, they were recent occurrences is mischievous. The public should be weary of such groups and their motive”.

The coordination between the air and ground forces, he said, is like never seen before and yields amazing results and achievements. We are expecting new platforms that would further enhance our capabilities to further root out the terrorist and destroy their military capabilities.

He further noted that troops in the south south, denied oil theft of the estimated sum of Five Hundred and Seventy One Million Seven Hundred and Ninety Three Thousand Three Hundred and Fifty Naira (N571,793,350.00) only.

“Furthermore , troops recovered 129 assorted weapons and 717 assorted ammunition, General Buba gave the breakdown to include, “one Unserviceable AA gun, one RPG tube, five RPG bombs, one GT3 rifle, 54 AK47 rifles, eight locally fabricated rifles, one locally made rifle, two pistols, two pump action guns, two dane guns, four locally fabricated pistol, three skeleton of AK47 rifles, nine hand grenades, one unserviceable AK47 rifle, 14 magazines, 321 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 40 live cartridges .

“Others are: 53 rounds of 5.45mm x 39mm ammo, 35 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 100 rounds of short gun, 11 rifle body, 7 breech block, seven rifle butts, eight rifle muzzles, nine piston assembles, 210 springs, one drilling machine, hand filling machines, 10 magazine purges, IED making materials, 4 boafeng radios, 15 motorcycles, 20 mobile phones and the sum of N348,200.00 amongst other items”.

He added that troops in the Niger Delta area discovered and destroyed 76 dugout pits, 35 boats, 95 storage tanks, 10 vehicles, 129 cooking ovens, five pumping machines, 13 speedboats, six outboard engines, one vessel, three motorcycles, and 49 illegal refining sites.

Troops, he said, recovered 514,640 liters of stolen crude oil, 339,315 liters of illegally refined AGO, and 775 liters of DPK.

Gen. Buba assured that the armed forces will continue to exert military pressure on groups that seek to derail any progress toward peace and security in the country.

He, however, concluded that the armed forces would continue to exert military pressure on groups that seek to derail any progress towards peace and security in the country, saying ” there is no doubt that these groups must be defeated and are indeed being defeated.

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