Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Nigerian Army has appealed to Bayelsans to avoid any act of political violence as the state prepares for the election.
The Army which is set to commence Operation Crocodile Smile IV across the eight local government areas in the state urged Bayelsans to display sportsmanship in the game of politics.
The Commander, 16 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Valentine Okoro who stated this during a novelty football match between 16 Brigade and Nembe Football Club organised as part of activities to deepen civilian and military relationship before the commencement of Operation Crocodile Smile IV, tasked residents of the area to display the same spirits of sportsmanship in a football match during all the stages of the election.
“We have gone the extra miles of demonstrating to the people of Nembe City what sportsmanship should be all about. We expect that in the coming elections, the people will also imbibe this spirit of sportsmanship. In every contest, there’s a winner and a loser, and there’s no point to be bitter about it. The Operation Crocodile Smile 4 will commence soon. The operation is to cut violence and promote peace and security in the community. Security is everybody’s business and we are stakeholders in the business of peace in Nembe and Bayelsa State”.
Chief Amabebe Alfred, a community leader commended the gesture of the Nigerian Army, noting that it would go a long way to build trust between the military and civilians.
“These are the military and the civilians coming together to play a match. Before, we could not go close to the military, but now the military and the civilians coming together to play game I think it’s a good thing. We need peace and because we have peace today, we are here; if there’s violence, you cannot come to this place, so we advise the youth to work with the military, give them intelligence report, wherever there’s danger, they can go and handle that”.