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Published On: Wed, Feb 20th, 2019

Polls: Again, army warns personnel against partisanship

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By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

The Nigerian Army has for the umpteenth time warms its officers against involvement in politics.
The army gave the warning yesterday in a statement issued its
Acting Director Public Relations, Sagir Musa while reacting to allegation of involvement of one of its officers in politics in Rivers State which he said was found to be untrue.
He said the Nigerian Army would have ordinarily ignored such baseless insinuations but for the unsuspecting members of the public who may be misled to believe the unsubstantiated allegations of political involvement of a military officer.
“The Army has made it sufficiently and consistently clear that none of its personnel will be involved in political campaigns, escort of VIPs for political missions and above all, aiding or supporting any political party as has been circulated in official circulars and statements.
“Although a detailed press statement has been released, the need to further make the position of the Nigerian Army clearer is therefore imperative.
“Our Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct have not assigned any political role to the Army in this regard. The Army’s involvement starts and ends with the provision of a peaceful and secure environment for the conduct of 2019 General Elections.
“The Nigerian Army strongly believes that the Citizens, like responsible media, have complementary constitutional roles to play, especially towards ensuring national security, information management, peace, and safety of Nigerians.”
Customs interrogates officers over video showing man’s death — Official
The Nigeria Customs Service says its officers involved in the shooting of a man along Ijebu Ode road on Sunday are being interrogated.
Joseph Attah, the public relations officer of Customs made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
A video which went viral on the social media on Sunday showed a man, supposed passenger of a commercial bus, shot dead by a customs officer.
Customs initially claimed it was an accidental discharge.
Mr Attah explained that the Customs Assistant Comptroller General, Zone A, Ekekezie Kessy, had on Monday visited the Federal Operations Unit in the zone at Ikeja, Lagos to interrogate the officers involved.
He said that the investigation was to find out the immediate and remote causes of the unfortunate incident that led to the death of an innocent citizen.
According to him, the interrogation will also reveal if better handling of weapon will have averted the incident.
“The officers involved are being interrogated, we look at it holistically, including weapon handling skills.
“If the officers are found guilty, they will be punished appropriately, we will allow the investigation to take place first.
“We still stand our ground that it is not a passenger of the bus that was deliberately shot dead but the victim was hit by the accidental discharge.
“An audio is now trending from one of the passengers of the bus that the person that died is not one of them.
“We insist that the person that died was not a passenger but a good Samaritan who used to assist our officers, we described him as a friend of Customs,’’ he explained.
The spokesperson said that training of its personnel was a continuous process, adding that the Service often sought assistance of the military in this regard.
“Like we said that in our statement, it is painful and totally unnecessary to lose life in anti-smuggling operations.’’
He urged the general public to be wary of what was being posted on social media because some of those things could mislead them. (NAN)

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