The Imo governor, Rochas Okorocha, called for severe punishment for politicians who clothe hoodlums with Army and Police uniforms during elections.
The Governor also urged the military to ensure free and fair election during the forthcoming general elections, adding that failure to do this would threaten Nigeria’s democracy.
Okorocha, who made the call when the new General Officer Commanding (GOC) the 82 Division of the Nigeria Army, Enugu paid, Major General A. C. Maikobi, him courtesy visit yesterday, at the Government House Owerri, noted that the political thugs who wear the unauthorized uniforms commit heinous crimes during the elections.
“You have been posted at a critical time in the period of electioneering. We request that the Military should do the needful to ensure free and fair election. I have no doubt that the Army will do the needful by ensuring free conduct of these elections.
“We are not unmindful of the fact that some unpopular and unpatriotic politicians sow Army, Police and Navy uniforms and give them to touts or hoodlums to use during elections. I urge the Army to start by fishing out these unpatriotic politicians and ensure that they get the kind of punishment they deserve, to help our democracy”.
“One of the major problems we have as a nation is that people who are not chosen by the people are seen holding public offices because they won through backyard backyards. This is the major problem of our democracy. I urge you to correct this aspect of our democracy by ensuring free and fair poll”.
Further, he said Imolites were not only prepared for the general elections but know who they would vote for in cadres.
“In Imo State, going by public opinion the people already know who will be their governor, Senators, House of Representatives etc. They know all of them by the way they pronounce them and their actions but sometimes it comes to them as a rude shock when somebody they never expected, emerges and the person did so through manipulations. This is a time for all hands to be on deck and ensure that our democracy is saved”.
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“We have all agreed that democracy is the best way of government but in this present democracy comes a lot of problems. It brings hatred, gossips, bickering and all forms of evil activities. I want to urge all Nigerians to know that no matter what happens, we are members of this one family called Nigeria and we are duty bound to protect the integrity of Nigeria”.
Earlier, Major General Maikobi said he had come with his team to inform the governor that he has taken over as the GOC of the 82 Division of the Nigeria Army Enugu and to also inform him that they have flagged off operation Egwueke 3 in the Southeast with their headquarters at Abakiliki, Ebonyi State.