Ahead of the October 10 Governorship election in Ondo State, the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Navy have issued a stern warning to hoodlums on the waterways that the security agencies were combat-ready to ensure a violence-free election.
They pledged their readiness to carry out their duties professionally in ensuring a peaceful outing, warning the political gladiators to rein in their supporters as the state will not be a fertile ground for those desirous of unleashing mayhem in the state.
The officers of the two security agencies on Thursday evening carried out an exercise tagged ‘Show of Force’ in the Ilaje and Ese Odo Local Government Areas of the state.
The exercise which started in Igbokoda in the morning and ended in the evening spanned through Atijere, Abereke, Agadagba, Obolowo, Asere, Arogbo, Dioba among other areas of the state.
Speaking after the exercise, the Commander of 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure, Brig-Gen. Zakari Abubakar, said the aim of the exercise was to signal a warning to hoodlums on the waterways that the security agencies were combat-ready to ensure that the coming election was violence-free.
“We have gone for ‘Show of Force’. We are telling hoodlums and militants that are on the creek who want to take undue advantage to cause trouble that we are ready.
“The purpose of the exercise is to get prepared for the October 10 governorship election. We want to ensure that the election is free and peaceful and make sure that hoodlums don’t interfere.
“As you are aware, the places visited lead to Delta and Ogun States and they will be coming. But I want to assure you that whenever and wherever they come from, we will give them blocking force.”
He advised the youths in the coastal communities to shun all forms of violence and intimidation before, during and after the election, noting that the military was aware of several camps that are springing up on the waterways, noting that some hideouts of hoodlums at Asere were destroyed during the exercise.
Similarly, the Commanding Officer of Naval Forward and Operation Base, Igbokoda, Navy Capt. Mohammed Ahmed, said the exercise “is to assure people that we are always there to secure the environment for them and inform hoodlums that we are watching.”
He noted that the exercise would be repeated before the poll and beyond.