navalCalabar – The Nigerian Navy said it would assist the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in conveying sensitive and electoral materials to riverine areas of Cross River State.
Rear Adm. Henry Babalola, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Eastern Naval Command, made the remarks during a familiarisation tour of Navy units and facilities in Calabar.
The FOC inspected the Navy Primary and Secondary Schools, Navy Hospital, barracks, Navy shipyard, among others.
Babalola, who observed some shortfall in some of the facilities inspected, expressed optimism that the Navy would address them appropriately.
Addressing officers and ratings at the end of the tour, the FOC said that the Nigerian Navy had pledged to assist INEC, if the need arose.
“The Navy will stand by INEC in areas where we will be needed to move electoral and sensitive materials to riverine areas within the state.
“We will deploy our men and keep the water safe to enable the people who live in the riverine areas to vote for candidates of their choice.
“We will also cooperate with INEC and other security agencies in Cross River to ensure that there is successful election in the state,” he said.
Babalola said the command would not tolerate any misconduct from officers and ratings before, during, and after the elections.
“As military men, you are to conduct yourselves in an orderly manner; it is your responsibility to be cautious and always be on alert on what goes on around you.
“Your safety is dear to us, and the image of the Navy is also very important to us,” he said.
He advised members of the public to be law-abiding during and after the elections, adding that they should not allow themselves to be used by politicians to cause violence.
The FOC promised to continue to work on the projects initiated by his predecessor to address the accommodation problem in the command.