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Python Dance III: Be completely neutral, respect human rights during elections — Army warned

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Godsgift Onyedinefu

The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division Nigerian Army, Maj-Gen. Abubakar Maikobi, has swarned soldiers and officers engaged in the ongoing Exercise Egwu Eke III (Python Dance III) in the South Eastern states of Abia, Imo and Ebonyi States to remain be completely neutral and respect human rights throughout the 2019 general elections.

Maikobi gave this warning when he paid an operations visit to Sectors 2, 3 and 6 in 14 Brigade Ohafia, Abia State, 34 Brigade Owerri, Imo State and 24 Support Engineer Regiment in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State on the 8th, 9th and 10th of January 2019 respectively to oversee and appraise the ongoing Exercise Egwu Eke in the South East geo-political zone.

The GOC in a statement on Thursday by the Deputy Director Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, addressed Officers and Soldiers to also foster peaceful coexistence with their host communities in all the places he visited.

“Let me convey the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai’s appreciation to you for your sacrifices, patience and perseverance in the service of our country.

“I urge you to respect human rights, remain professional, responsive and completely neutral in the discharge of your constitutional roles especially – before, during and after the 2019 General Elections and throughout the time for this exercise”, he added.

Maikobi further visited Sector 2 (14 Brigade) Step Up Headquarters at Nsulu games village in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of Abia State and also visited Oghaji -Egbema Forward Operating Base in Sector 3 within these periods.

He urged the troops to discharge their duties professionally and responsively within the ambit of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, – in tandem with the Vision Buratai which is – “To have a Professionally Responsive Nigerian Army in the Discharge of its Constitutional Roles”.

According to him “illegal duty, extortion and hobnobbing with politicians are offences that are actionable in military law. I will not condone or spare anyone who flouts the law, so you are warned”.

Commanders of 14 and 34 Brigades as well as the Commanding Officer 24 Support Engineer Regiment briefed and conducted the GOC round some of their locations during the visit.

He expressed satisfaction with the level of preparations and commitment of troops to the success of the exercise.

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