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PDP To Buratai: Don’t Drag Military Into Politics….Says Buhari Lacks Powers To Deploy Soldiers For Election



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February 20, 2019

Press Statement

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cautions the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. 
Gen. Tukur Buratai, to refrain himself from acts or actions that will 
suggest in any way that the military has become an arm of a political 

The PDP says Gen. Buratai’s allusion to the people’s candidate, Atiku 
Abubakar, as well as his threats to officers and ranks to execute the 
unlawful order by President Muhammadu Buhari to participate in the 
electoral process is an aberration of our laws and a recipe for crisis.

The PDP states that Atiku Abubakar spoke on the side of the law and 
wishes of Nigerians and cannot be intimidated by any body no matter how 
highly placed.

Gen. Buratai is counseled to note that the loyalty of the military is to 
the state and that the President lacks the powers, under our laws, to 
deploy soldiers for the conduct of elections.

Our party urges Gen Buratai to concentrate on his very demanding 
assignment of protecting the territorial integrity of our nation and 
ending insurgency rather than dabbling into partisan politics at the 
risk of our national cohesion.

It is imperative to state that by trying to drag the military to 
participate in the February 23 Presidential elections, President Buhari 
plots to suspend our constitution, assume the position of an emperor, 
trigger unrest, subvert our electoral process and derail our democracy.

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The party directs President Buhari to the judgment of the Federal High 
Court, Lagos on March 23, 2015, wherein the court, presided over by 
Justice Ibrahim Buba, directly outlawed the deployment of troops in the 
conduct of elections in our country.

President Buhari should also avail himself of the subsisting judgment of 
the Court of Appeal, which on February 15, 2015, held that the President 
has no powers to deploy soldiers in the conduct of elections.

The PDP further counsels President Buhari and Gen. Buratai to end their 
rationalizing of military option, as the courts have summarily dismissed 
their arguments that soldiers are needed to guarantee peaceful 

It may interest President Buhari to know that the judgment was sequel to 
a suit filed by the APC Leader in the House of Representatives, Femi 
Gbajabiamila, seeking a declaration that deployment of soldiers during 
elections is illegal and unconstitutional.

In case, President Buhari is not aware, as usual, the court directly 
held that “the Armed Forces have no role in elections” and if soldiers 
must vote, they must do so in their barracks.

According to the court, “the time has come for us to establish the 
culture of democratic rule in the country and to start to do the right 
thing particularly when it has to do with dealing with the electoral 
process, which is one of the pillars of democracy.
“In spite of the behaviour of the political class, we should by all 
means try to keep armed personnel and military from being a part and 
parcel of the electoral process.

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“The state is obligated to confine the military to their very demanding 
assignment, especially in this time of insurgencies by keeping them out 
of elections”, the court held.

The priming of the military ahead of the election, therefore, heightens 
the fear of plots by the APC to plunge our nation into crisis and use 
security forces to subjugate Nigerians, seeing that President Buhari has 
no chance of winning the February 23 Presidential Election.
The PDP therefore cautions President Buhari not to allow his desperation 
to push him to corrupt the patriotism of our military and use them 
against innocent Nigerians, whose only demand is for a free, fair and 
credible election.

We urge the international community to note the roles being played by 
President Buhari, his Federal Executive Council and Gen. Buratai in our 
electoral process.


Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary
Director, Media & Publicity
PDP Presidential Campaign Organization

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