The Governor òf Bayelsa State, the Honorable Henry Seriake Dickson, has called on military personnel on deployment to the states of the South South not to pander to the dictates of politicians.
A statement by the Special Adviser Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, quoted the Governor as having urged the military personnel to be focussed, professional and be ready to resist intimidation from desperate politicians.
The Governor said that the security operatives must be conscious of their responsibility to keep the peace and maintain the conducive environment for the citizens to carry out the civic responsibility of electing their leaders.
Governor Dickson said that while there were cases of misconduct during the last elections, majority of the security agencies have carried out their responsibility creditably well.
He said that the Chief òf Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, was providing leadership for the Army at a most trying period and should be supported by his commanders and men to sustain the integrity of the service.
The Governor appealed to the officers and men of the Army to avoid doing anything that could undermine the peace and stability of the state.
“I call on all the security operatives deployed in the states of the South South especially Bayelsa State not to do anything that will undermine the peace and stability of the state. They should treat the people with respect and be firm in adhering to their code of conduct in the performance of their duties.
“The Security agencies should create the conducive environment for the elections to take place smoothly. While there are cases of misconduct, in the last elections, majority of the security forces have done well.They are part of our security architecture because this government places emphasis on collaboration with security agencies to maintain peace and stability.
“I thank the vast majority of the officers who are hardworking. They should not be intimidated, they should not do anything to suggest bias.
I do not want to record any loss of lives again in my state. They should not condone criminality; they should not pander to any politician or party because Security services cannot be seen to be taking side in this political contest.
“The Chief òf Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, is an accomplished officer who is leading the Army in a trying period. He is a friend of the state. This state has a lot of collaboration with the Nigerian Army and other security agencies. The men that are deployed here should not do anything to destroy that relationship.”
The Governor who called on Bayelsans to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner also urged the clergy and the traditional institutions to preach peace during the period of the election.