Nigerian Army Says No Plans To Subvert Constitution During General Elections

Contrary to insinuations that the rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly could become militarized based on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari that the military and Police should be “ruthless,” the Nigerian Army on Monday night, reassured that it will not subvert the nation’s constitution, or be partisan during the postponed general elections.
In a statement by Col. Sagir Musa, Acting Director, Army Public Relations, titled “Re: Allegation of political involvement of a military officer in Rivers State,” the Nigerian Army given that it is assigned no constitution in the political process.
President Buhari had said at the caucus: “I am going to warn anybody who thinks he would lead a body of thugs in his locality to snatch boxes or to disturb the voting system, he would do it at the expense of his/her own life.”
The statement has been criticized as giving his blessing to extra-judicial killings by security agencies, besides promoting “jungle justices during elections,” in the words of Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, a former Minister and until recently a Presidential candidate at the election.
She called the attention of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, a senior advocate, 52, to Section 129 (4) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) which “provides that any person who snatches or destroys any election material commits an offence and is liable on conviction to 24 months imprisonment.”
The Army in its statement assured that its “involvement starts and ends with the provision of peaceful and secured environment for the conduct of 2019 General Elections.”
Any insinuation or assertion contrary to the above declaration, the Army continued, “is mischievous and politically motivated which the NA under the command of Lt Gen TY Buratai has strongly and severally warned against.”
The statement added that it has sufficiently and consistently it “clear that none of its personnel will be involved in political campaigns, escort of VIPs for political missions and above all, aiding or supporting any political party as has been circulated in noticeable media platforms.”
Members of the public were enjoined “to judge the Nigerian Army on this declaration.”

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