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President Muhammadu Buhari is the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, that’s how ’s Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, described him today Wednesday and therefore charged officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army to be loyal and obey his orders or resign from the service.

The latest order is coming a few hours President Buhari directed the military men and police officers to deal ruthlessly with anyone who makes attempt to snatch ballot box or snatched ballot boxes during elections.

Buratai gave the ultimatum at an expanded weekly meeting with Principal Staff Officers (PSOs), General Officers Commanding (GOCs) and some field commanders at the army headquarters in Abuja.

He said, “the foundation of military professionalism is discipline and without discipline an army cannot stand. One of our core values is loyalty to constituted authority. Loyalty must be hundred per cent.

“Should any officer or soldier have doubts as to his loyalty to the Nigerian State as presently constituted, such a person has up to Feb. 22, to resign.

“There is no room for indiscipline or disobedience to lawful orders in the Nigeria army today.’’

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Buratai also said that the expanded meeting was to review security strategies put in place for the Presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, reported Daily Trust.

He recalled that two weeks ago, the strategies were planned in a similar meeting until the elections were rescheduled to Saturday and March 9, from Feb. 16 and March 2.

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The army chief decried some politicians’ reaction to President Muhammadu Buhari directive to security agents to deal ruthlessly with ballot box- snatching.

“It is unfortunate to hear persons who are aspiring to rule this country again inciting the army to disobedience.

“We have consistently stated our position in the political dispensation to remain neutral and apolitical.

“However, direct and public incitement of the Nigerian military against democracy and constituted civil authority will not be tolerated.

Nigerien soldiers patrol a camp of the city of Diffa during the visit of Niger’s Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum following attacks by Boko Haram fighters in the region of Diffa, Niger June 18,2016. Reuters/Luc Gnago

“I request such persons to withdraw this inciting statement.

“Let me re-emphasize loud and clear, that the Nigerian Army is a professional army,’’ he stated.

He, therefore, ordered commanders to deal decisively with any electoral crime or action that could be inimical to national security.

Buratai further directed them to ensure that they and personnel under them did not hobnob with politicians.

“In this regard, there will be no military escort for any politician and all Nigerian army personnel are to stay clear of retired military officers, especially those who are now politicians until after the elections.

“Commanders are to conduct extensive patrols within their Area of Responsibilities (AORs).

“They must ensure that all flash points within the area are dominated.

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“Commanders must, in conjunction with the Nigeria Police Force, enforce the restriction on movement within their Area of Responsibilities (AORs).

“All vehicles must be searched and suspicious persons or vehicles arrested/impounded and later handed over to the police,’’ he said.

According to Buratai, thuggery, snatching of ballot boxes, illegal possession of elections materials and similar crimes are intended to mar an and create deliberate avenues for post-election violence and mayhem.

He said that such actions could also become more damaging when they are widespread, leading to destruction of lives and property.

Buratai noted that such incidents in past elections were often planned and orchestrated by politicians, but said that the army had hitherto been cautious in its approach.

“However, this time around the Nigerian army will adopt a proactive posture that ensures that similar incidents do not even arise.’’

He noted that Nigerians had generally expressed disappointment with the postponement of the elections, adding that it increased apprehension in the populace and international community.

He, however, assured that the army alongside other security agencies, would rise to the challenge of ensuring a peaceful outcome of the rescheduled elections.

Buratai said that there was need to give confidence to Nigerians and reassure the international community that all would go well in the electoral process.

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He insisted that the unity of Nigeria was not negotiable, “hence those who seek to undermine its democracy by interfering in its electoral process must be seen as enemies and dealt with appropriately.

“Our role is aptly captured in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and we must defend Nigeria’s territorial integrity as well as act in aid of civil authority when called upon to do so.

“Therefore, commanders must with all stakeholders, interest groups and agencies to avert any act by any individual, groups or entities that seek to undermine our democratic process.’’ (NAN)

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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COVID-19: Gov Abiodun orders full reopening of hotels, schools, churches, mosques

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Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has ordered full reopening of hotels, viewing centres, marquees, event centres, suites, guest houses and motels.

Others in that category are restaurants, eateries, lounges, bars, and cinemas.

We reports Gov Abiodun, in the wake of the deadly Coronavirus, ordered the closure of those establishments to avoid the spread of disease.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, on Wednesday, the Ogun Governor said those in the industry should open for business fully.

Somorin informed that Abiodun has further told schools, markets, churches and mosques in Ogun to revert to their regular programme of activities as obtained before COVID-19.

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However, Somorin urged the hospitality establishments to strictly adhere to a set of guidelines in order to keep up with the protocols aimed at further flattening the curve of COVID-19.

The statement said that the government would not hesitate to do selective lockdown should there be any flagrant disobedience to the set COVID-19 protocols.

“And, if perchance we discover that any of our centres is not complying or adhering to the laid down protocols, we will not hesitate to close down the centre,” he warned.

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BREAKING: Osun State Governor, Oyetola Relaxes Curfew

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Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, has relaxed the curfew imposed on the state , now 8pm to 6am.

This was contained in a press statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Wole Oyebamiji, on Wednesday.

The governor said the relaxation of the curfew takes effect from Thursday.

The statement read in part,

“Following the high level of compliance with the 24-hour curfew declared last Saturday to forestall further breakdown of law and order in the State, the Governor of the State of Osun, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, has approved the relaxation of the curfew period, effective from tomorrow, Thursday, October 29, 2020.

“Consequently, the curfew will now run from 8:00pm to 6:00am daily.

“Security operatives will still remain on the streets to enforce the new curfew directive with a view to further maintaining law and order.

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“Also, all motorcycle operators will now operate from 6:00am to 8:00pm daily as earlier announced.

“This will subsist even after the curfew is completely lifted.”

The governor commended #EndSARS protesters for suspending demonstrations in the state.

He urged those with looted items to ensure that they return them, stressing that defaulters would be prosecuted.

The statement said, “As we all know, the curfew was never declared in the first instance to inflict hardship on our people but to protect them and return normalcy to the State.

“We commend the residents and citizens of Osun for their show of understanding and cooperation in the last five days of the curfew.

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“We also laud our youths for displaying a high sense of maturity and understanding in calling off any form of protest in light of the prevailing circumstances.

“Government remains committed to the cause of our youths and shall take every necessary step to ensure their welfare.

“Government also commends those who took advantage of the amnesty period to return looted items in line with the Omoluabi ethos for which we are known.

“Whistle Blowers could still reach out to us on 08187187678 for information on looted items.
However, effective from tomorrow, Thursday, October 29, anyone found to be in possession of any looted item will be arrested, investigated and prosecuted as earlier announced.”

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