Be Neutral during election, FOC tells Navy

Officers and ratings of the Nigerian Navy have been told to maintain neutrality during the forthcoming 2015 general election.

The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Henry Babalola, gave the charge in Calabar, shortly after the command’s 11kilometres route march at the weekend.

Addressing journalists on the essence of the march, Babalola said: “We have exercised our bodies to be physically and mentally alert, so we can carry out our task in the forthcoming elections. You have a right to vote, do not listen to your political masters and do not leave your duty post to canvass for any candidate.

“We must be very careful as we approach a very critical moment. Elections are purely for the police and as such we must be informed by the police. Our civil military relations would continue to improve. We would escort and ensure that they are safe. Steer off in any form of electioneering.”

He said it was necessary for the personnel to keep fit and be alert so as to carry out their task effectively, especially as the elections were fast approaching.

Babalola advised the electorate to exercise their franchise during the elections without fear, as the Navy was ready to provide adequate security.

He said for successful elections to hold, the public must continue to maintain the peace before, during and after voting.

The FOC said the Navy would continue to build strong civil-military relations in the country.

He said the Navy was ready to work together with the Nigerian Police Force to ensure hitch-free polls throughout its area of operations.

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