Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The Nigerian Army thursday read the riot act to mischief makers plotting against the peaceful conduct of the 2019 general election, saying it is prepared to take decisive steps against some undesirable elements and politicians adept at deploying thugs and those engaged in kidnapping during the elections.

This is coming as it embarked on a major reorganisation of North-east operations, tagged: ‘Operation Lafia Dole’ in Borno State, where it denied the loss of 46 soldiers and equipment to terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Speaking at a meeting with principal officers, General Officers Commanding (GOCs), field commanders and operations officers at the Army Headquarters in Abuja, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Buratai, said the army was prepared to ensure effective security before, during and after the elections.

“We remain apolitical and we are committed to safeguarding the constitution. The unity of the country cannot be compromised.

“On the 2019 elections, we are prepared to ensure effective security before, during and after elections. We have told our officers to be professional and we shall be decisive where necessary”, he said.

He maintained that “political thugs, kidnappers and criminal elements identified with arms would be dealt with decisively. We shall adhere to international standards of operations.

Buratai said the army was reviewing operations in different areas of engagement across the country including the northeast operations where the military battled insurgents.

He said the meeting reviewed challenges and directed officers to address them properly while noting that the army high command was satisfied with the general conduct of operations. He said the army was reorganising ‘Operation Lafia Dole’ in order to reinvigorate it and tackle emerging challenges.