By Okey Ayogu
The Armed Forces is the national development guarantee of any nation, therefore, no nation’s ambition or goal is better secured than the capabilities of her armed forces. It is imperative to note that every democracy is as strong / successful as the armed forces that defend its growth and policies in all fronts. It was a British Statesman and her most cerebral Prime Minister, Winston S. Churchill (1874-1965) that once said to his countrymen: “we sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us”. We have been able to conduct credible and peaceful 2019 presidential and national assembly elections yesterday, 23rd February 2019, because Nigerian Armed forces were ready to visit violence on those who would harm the electorates and disrupt our democratic process.
The stakes were higher than ever, enemies of our nation were waiting to hear a bad news: “violence has marred the general elections; Nigeria is up in flame, the most populous black nation on earth is in chaos”. But the Nigerian Armed Forces, especially the Nigerian Army was a step ahead of the evil plotters. The Army in its mastery of modern warfare strategies decided to act in consonance with the words of the great black civil right activist, Malcolm X, who said: “sometimes you have to pick the gun up to put the gun down”. But for this masterstroke strategy deployed by Lt General TY Buratai, special interests sponsored hoodlums would have disrupted the elections and orchestrated nationwide violence which would have interrupted smooth government transition and our nation’s economic progress.
Being away of the internal and external conspiracies to destroy our growing democracy using the 2019 presidential and national assembly elections, General TY Buratai ordered a month long nationwide Exercise Python Dance III to reposition his troops for the quick response that will be needed to beat the conspirators in their own games. He followed it with an ongoing nationwide Operation Python Dance III which targeted the criminal elements in every nook and cranny of our nation. So many criminal syndicates that would have deployed to disrupt the election and cause chaos were bursted, and smashed days before the general elections and the remnants were on the run while his well motivated troops kept a close trail.
Following Nigerian Army’s successes in dislodging and smashing the criminal elements across the country, the Army through its Cyber Warfare command again took the enemies by surprise by establishing an ELECTIONS SECURITY MONITORING SITUATION CENTRE: a National Situation Room to spot any emerging security threat and respond decisively within three minutes, which ensured that Nigerian are given adequate protection as they performed their civic duties. General Buratai followed that up with a meeting with Principal Officers, General Officers Commanding and Commanders held at Army headquarters conference room, Abuja, on Wednesday 20th February 2019, he reminded the seniors officers in attendance that the Unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable, he declared that those that seek to undermine our democracy are enemies of Nigeria and instructed the Army commanders to deal with them appropriately. He instructed the commanders to remain neutral and apolitical, and confine themselves to the constitutional role of the military.
With the marching order given to deal with those that seek to undermine our democratic process and national security; the die was cast between our Armed forces and those that seek to undermine our democracy nay our national development. Douglas MacArthur once said: “I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within” and that was clear to the commanders as they listen to the orders of their inspiring Chief of Staff. As Nigerians filed up in numbers to cast their votes to candidates of their choices, well informed and motivated battle ready soldiers professionally conducted themselves in their business of securing the voters and their votes. With extreme courtesies and professional candor they discharged their duties with distinctions to the pride and admirations of the voters who showered them with praises and accolades. The police was also professionally as the joint team of Soldiers and Policemen ensured that the elections were conducted peacefully and credibly.
Like I predict with the knowledge of the preparedness of the Nigerian armed forces and its readiness to discharge its constitutional duty of protecting Nigerians; the 2019 presidential and national assembly elections have been conducted successfully to the chagrin of the enemies of the State of Nigeria and we say a big thank you to all members of Nigerian Armed Forces especially the Nigerian Army led by Lt Gen. TY Buratai, a Pan-Nigerian and apolitical General who has staked all to serve us well. Thank you so much, Nigerian Army, thank so much Lt. General Buratai.
Congratulations to all Nigerians.
Okey Ayogu is National Coordinator, CDSP and is reachable via: www.cdspnigeria.com