From Molly Kilete, Abuja
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Auwal Gambo, has charged Nigerian Navy personnel to defend and support the country’s democracy and constituted authorities.
Vice Admiral Gambo has also charged naval personnel not to engage in partisan politics and taking the laws into their hands that could bring disrepute to the Service in the course of duty.
The navy chief, who gave the charge at the Second Quarter ten Kilometres Route March in Abuja, noted that they have a right as citizens of Nigeria to register and cast their votes during the elections.
Represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Vice Admiral Saidu Garba, the CNS, charged them to return to the barracks after casting their votes as any personnel found hobnobbing with politicians would have themselves to blame.
He said “I enjoin you all to show dedication to duty and unflinching support to our democracy and constituted authority.
“This is more so that we are entering the election period. We urge you all to be non-partisan, and not to engage in any party activities.
“Your right is to vote, get your PVC, do your vote, go back to your home.
“We do not expect that you engage in any electioneering process. Any person found engaged in that will be severely sanctioned,” he stated.
“The Nigerian Navy will continue to support you by way of providing all the needs to function optimally in the area of your responsibilities,” the CNS said.
Gambo, while noting the various security challenges bedevilling the country, said the route march is aimed at developing the physical and mental alertness of personnel to meet the dynamics of contemporary security operations.
He also said it is targeted at fostering esprit de corps and providing an avenue for relaxation.
According to him, “It is important to state that, operational efficiency and combat readiness are predicated on mental and physical fitness of the armed forces. Indeed, physical fitness and mental alertness are essential for the combat readiness of Service personnel at all times.
While charging the personnel to be law-abiding and maintain a cordial relationship with the civil populace
and relevant stakeholders, the CNS, said “This is more so, that your duty to defend the territorial integrity of our fatherland will be meaningless if the Nigerian populace is not enjoying a harmonious relationship with the Armed Forces.
“Similarly, we can only be proud that their safety and wellbeing are assured as law-abiding citizens. On this note, I urge you to be more professional in the conduct of your duties and day-to-day activities.
“Furthermore, I must encourage you not to engage in any acts of misdemeanour or taking the laws into your hands that could bring disrepute to the Service in the course of duty,” he warned.