Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has urged the federal government
to reconsider the policy of deploying soldiers to supervise elections
in the country.
He said this is to protect the neutrality of the military and to stop
exposing them to undue politicisation.
Atiku in a statement by his media office in Abuja, yesterday, said
with the security challenges brought on by terrorism, the nation’s
military should be allowed to concentrate on its immediate tasks and
challenges so as not to lose focus.
“The attention of the military should not be diverted to politics when
terrorists are posing the greatest threat to our national security,”
Speaking apparently in respect to the forthcoming gubernatorial
elections in Ekiti and Osun states, former Vice President Atiku
explained that the frequent deployment of soldiers to supervise the
conduct of elections in the country may potentially affect its
Atiku recalled that the militarisation of President Jonathan’s home
state of Bayelsa prior to the last governorship election in the
country has left a blemish that is difficult to erase in the annals of
the country’s young democracy.
He stressed that in the absence of extraordinary emergency situation,
there is no justification for dragging soldiers into politics.
He also noted that gun-wielding soldiers at polling stations obscure
the new democratic order in the country and that any interaction
between soldiers and politicians at political activities such as
voting would not be good for any democracy.
The former vice president, however, said an adequately equipped and
well motivated police could maintain law and order at polling stations
Military don’t supervise elections in Nigeria. They provide security. Stopping them means we are ready to go back to the days of massive ballot box smash and rigging. No right thinking Nigerian should even voice this out. Atiku should suggest how to end the killings at his backyard.