Nigerian Army Reconfigure Situation Room For 2019 Elections

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BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – The Nigerian Army on Wednesday said that it has reconfigured its Situation Room towards ensuring the success of the 2019 general elections for real-time monitoring of events during the polls.

 This is contained in a statement by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-General Tukur Buratai in which he said that having observed the cycle of violence reoccurs severally in past electioneering processes, the Nigeria Army has deemed it necessary to adopt a proactive and responsive posture that would allow it respond better to early signs of insecurity before they could escalate into a major security challenge.

The COAS noted that it is pertinent to state that the post-election violence which characterized previous elections clearly highlights the challenges posed by incidents of electoral violence in the country. 

Buratai explained that as a result, the Nigerian Army saw the need to devise new strategies of stemming such ugly tides or completely eliminating same. 
According to him; “Lessons learnt from previous election violence witnessed have categorized the nature or types of violence into 3 broad categories namely: pre-election violence, violence during elections and post-election violence. 
“Violence at the various phases of elections include thuggery, snatching of ballot boxes and papers or kidnapping or abduction of electoral officers and party agents and wanton destruction of lives and properties, respectively.
“It is in this light that the NA has launched OP SAFE CONDUCT and also gone ahead to establish this situation room for real-time monitoring.” 
The Army boss said it cannot be overstated that fake news and false propaganda pose a dangerous threat to both the democratic process and military operations.

He further said; “The use of media, especially social media to deliberately spread fake news should be a thing of concern to all. The rapid spread of fake news has been responsible for misinformation, thereby having an influence on public sentiment and sow confusion among the electorate or even easily ignite violence during the period of the 2019 General Elections.
“The NA through the Cyber Warfare Command has been continually engaged in monitoring, identifying and countering various forms of fake news and propaganda being put out by terrorists and subversive elements.

“However, in this period of the elections, there is need to collaborate with all stakeholders to confront the menace of fake news. I am happy to note that during my recent meeting with media executives, they pledged to partner with the NA on this issue.
“To further enrich the quality of information during the election monitoring process, the NA would also partner with civil society election monitoring groups and other stakeholders. To this end, the NA wishes to encourage the general public to please forward credible information of security importance via SMS, MMS or WhatsApp to the numbers provided. “Additionally, the public could utilize the NA Information Call Center short code 193 from any Nigerian network or the NA iReport platform on https://army.mil.ng.”
Buratai expressed the hope that collective efforts would help ensure a smooth and secure conduct of the 2019 general elections.

The Nigerian Army had earlier launched OP SAFE CONDUCT which is one of the series of exercises undertaken by it to ensure the success of the 2019 General Elections.

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