We're Ready To Curb Electoral Violence —Navy, Airforce


A head of next year’s general elections, the Nigeria Navy and the Air Force have said  they are battle ready to collaborate with the Lagos State Government to fight  electoral violence and thuggery in the state.

Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogbor, who  visited Governor Babatunde Fashola at the State House, Ikeja recently, said the  command was ready to make the waterways safe during the elections.

“We shall continue to make the waterways safe. We are aware that whatever happened  in Lagos State affects Nigeria,” he stated.

He commended Fashola for promising to fix the patrol boats belonging to the command  for effective policing of the waterways in order to prepare for smooth polls next  year.

“We will provide an enabling environment for free and fair elections in 2011,” he  added.

Also paying a visit to the governor is the Air Officer, Logistics Command, Nigeria  Air Force, Ikeja, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar Nashehu, who said that the Air Force  would assist the state in ensuring security during the polls.

“Now that we are not at war, our responsibility is to provide peace and security and  to ensure law and order hold sway in Lagos.

“We are full participants in your Operation MESSA scheme and we have support for  your administration,” he stated.

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In his remarks, Fashola said this was the right time for the military to show  commitment towards the nation by ensuring maximum security during the coming  elections.

“Election should not be a matter of war but a carnival, where people can take their  children out.  It should not be characterised by violence but carnival-like,” he  stated.

The governor said the state would cooperate with the military to ensure adequate  security for lives and property in Lagos, adding, “we have already made tremendous  gains in securing the state’s land, air and water.

“We want to be at the forefront to make Lagos secure. We will partner with you in  the area of security.”

According to him, “in peace time, maintaining internal security is a priority to the  armed forces.  The security of this country is key.  The role of the military is to  strengthen democracy.”

—Kazeem Ugbodaga

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