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Leave soldiers out of Kogi, Bayelsa polls, group urges Buratai

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Concerned Nigerians have urged the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, to jettison any plan to deploy soldiers for the forthcoming Kogi and Bayelsa states governorship elections.

Human rights activist, Deji Adeyanju, in a letter on behalf of the group, dated October 31, 2019, and addressed to the army chief, stated, “This should mark a turning point for the army to regain the trust of Nigerians.”

According to the group, the murky waters of Nigerian politics have continued to necessitate the deployment of the nation’s gallant soldiers for elections and has in no small measure tainted the solid professional reputation of the army.

The group recalled, “For this singular reason, you once set up a panel to investigate the conduct of soldiers during the 2014 governorship election in which some officers were found wanting and sanctioned. We had expected that that singular action was going to stop the use of the army for elections. But it is never too late for our army to fully return to the path of professionalism and regain the trust of Nigerians.

“As we approach the Kogi and Bayelsa states gubernatorial elections, we believe it is paramount to remind the Nigerian army that its involvement in the 2019 general elections left indelible scars in the hearts of most Nigerians.

According to him, the Army is already overstretched with several internal operations and it should be saved from political distractions.

“The police are adequately prepared to deploy officers for this election as they did during the general elections.”

If the police could adequately deploy its officers to the 36 states during the elections, it won’t have any challenges in just two states – Kogi and Bayelsa.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) against altering the outcome of its primary election in Kogi State with a view to disqualifying its candidate, Musa Wada.

PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, at a press conference yesterday in Abuja, said the warning was predicated on intelligence available to it “of plots by INEC officers and certain APC leaders to alter INEC’s Monitoring Report and delist our candidate, all in their desperate, but sure to fail, bid to make Governor Yahaya Bello a sole candidate.

“Of course, this plot is dead on arrival, as our candidate, Musa Wada, remains duly nominated through the statutory processes of our primary, which was well covered in the Monitoring Report released by INEC.”

The PDP warned that any attempt to tamper with his candidature would trigger the wrath of the people.


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