16th December, 2010
A head of next yearâ€™s general elections, the Nigeria Navy and the Air Force have saidÂ they are battle ready to collaborate with the Lagos State Government to fightÂ electoral violence and thuggery in the state.
Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogbor, whoÂ visited Governor Babatunde Fashola at the State House, Ikeja recently, said theÂ command was ready to make the waterways safe during the elections.
â€œWe shall continue to make the waterways safe. We are aware that whatever happenedÂ in Lagos State affects Nigeria,â€ he stated.
He commended Fashola for promising to fix the patrol boats belonging to the commandÂ for effective policing of the waterways in order to prepare for smooth polls nextÂ year.
â€œWe will provide an enabling environment for free and fair elections in 2011,â€ heÂ added.
Also paying a visit to the governor is the Air Officer, Logistics Command, NigeriaÂ Air Force, Ikeja, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar Nashehu, who said that the Air ForceÂ would assist the state in ensuring security during the polls.
â€œNow that we are not at war, our responsibility is to provide peace and security andÂ to ensure law and order hold sway in Lagos.
â€œWe are full participants in your Operation MESSA scheme and we have support forÂ your administration,â€ he stated.
In his remarks, Fashola said this was the right time for the military to showÂ commitment towards the nation by ensuring maximum security during the comingÂ elections.
â€œElection should not be a matter of war but a carnival, where people can take theirÂ children out.Â It should not be characterised by violence but carnival-like,â€ heÂ stated.
The governor said the state would cooperate with the military to ensure adequateÂ security for lives and property in Lagos, adding, â€œwe have already made tremendousÂ gains in securing the stateâ€™s land, air and water.
â€œWe want to be at the forefront to make Lagos secure. We will partner with you inÂ the area of security.â€
According to him, â€œin peace time, maintaining internal security is a priority to theÂ armed forces.Â The security of this country is key.Â The role of the military is toÂ strengthen democracy.â€