De­fence head­quar­ters to hold route march on Anam­bra elec­tion day

• Ac­tion not show of force, says spokesman

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - From Se­gun Olaniyi, Abuja

THE De­fence Head­quar­ters (DHQ) will hold a route march across the coun­try on Novem­ber 18, coin­cid­ing with the date of the Anam­bra State gov­er­nor­ship elec­tion.

As­sur­ing res­i­dents of the state of ad­e­quate se­cu­rity be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter the poll, the DHQ said the Gen­eral Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing (GOC) 82 Di­vi­sion of the Nige­rian Army would de­ter­mine se­cu­rity ar­range­ments in the state, dis­clos­ing that the na­tion’s armed forces, para­mil­i­tary in­sti­tu­tions and other se­cu­rity agen­cies would par­tic­i­pate in the march.

Speak­ing at a press con­fer­ence on the planned event in Abuja yes­ter­day, Di­rec­tor of De­fence In­for­ma­tion, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, said se­cu­rity ar­range­ments on the elec­tion would be based on analysis of sit­u­a­tion on the ground by the GOC and other mil­i­tary for­ma­tions.

Say­ing there was no rea­son for any con­fu­sion or alarm over the ex­er­cise, he ap­pealed to Nige­ri­ans not to mis­con­strue the route march as a show of force, stress­ing that the na­tion’s en­tire se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture would be in­volved.

Enenche dis­missed the ‘vote and die’ threat by the pro­scribed In­dige­nous Peo­ples of Bi­afra (IPOB), call­ing on Nige­ri­ans to “go about their nor­mal busi­nesses with­out fear”.

He urged peo­ple not to panic re­gard­ing the mil­i­tary ac­tiv­ity, as there would be move­ment of troops across the coun­try. He ex­plained that the ob­jec­tive of the march was to en­sure that the armed forces, para­mil­i­tary in­sti­tu­tions and se­cu­rity agen­cies had greater co­op­er­a­tion among them­selves. He dis­closed that the ex­er­cise would com­mence at 0600 hours in Abuja and other parts of the coun­try.

He said: “The phys­i­cal fit­ness of mem­bers of the se­cu­rity and re­sponse agen­cies is ger­mane to the ef­fec­tive­ness of its mem­bers, es­pe­cially in the face of con­tem­po­rary se­cu­rity chal­lenges in the coun­try. In the same vein, group in­ter­ac­tion through an ex­er­cise such as route march is an en­hancer of es­pirit de corps and har­mony among mem­bers of the agen­cies.

“It is in view of th­ese, that a route march ex­er­cise ti­tled, ‘To­gether We Are’, is be­ing con­ducted on quar­terly ba­sis, in­volv­ing the mil­i­tary, para­mil­i­tary and se­cu­rity re­sponses agen­cies in Nige­ria. It is ex­pected that the aim and ob­jec­tive of the ex­er­cise will be achieved like the maiden one.”

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