Politicians who are perfecting plans to use their thugs in disruption of electoral process in their favour are in for a shock, the Nigerian Army, says. 

There are military men in most Nigerian states and they have been deployed ahead of the election to make sure that people got used to them before the commencement of the general elections on February 16.

Operation Egwu Eke III (Python Dance) is what the exercise has been tagged and troops are already making exploits. 

A warning has been sounded by the Nigerian Army, with a vow that its personnel would not tolerate undue interference by politicians in the conduct of its ongoing Exercise Egwu Eke III.

The Army spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Usman, gave the warning in a statement on Sunday after troops arrested 16 suspected political thugs in Sokoto State.

Egwu Eke III was launched nationwide on January 2 to deal with criminal activities before, during and after the general elections.

It will be rounded off in March after the general elections.

Usman said the suspects were arrested armed with 27 axes and 16 customised sticks.

He said they were arrested on Saturday during joint stop and search patrol with other security agencies along Illela-Danfulani-Gwadabawa road.

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The army spokesman, however, disclosed that a prominent politician in the state and a serving Senator, whose name he did not mention, came to the scene and ordered his mobile police escorts to release them.

"In the process, a Department of State Service operative was molested and his clothes torn. The patriotic and professional officer still held on to the seized weapons.

"Similarly, another prominent politician from Zamfara State had earlier tried to influence the investigation of arrested armed political thugs,” he said.

Usman restated that the army had always been professional, impartial and apolitical and would continue to be so.

According to him, since the beginning of the exercise in January, “we have arrested thugs armed with dangerous weapons across the various political parties, without fear or favour".

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