By Joseph Erunke
ONE of the election observer groups, the Centre for Transparency Advocacy,CTA, has accused the military personnel deployed for security of not only abandoning their primary responsibilities but also displaying open partisanship during the exercise.
This was even as it blamed the entire security agencies for their slow response to security breaches, saying the development made citizens to resort to self-help, which it noted,”was a call to anarchy.”
The group, at a press conference, Sunday morning, in Abuja, said preliminary report from its observers deployed across the country, showed that there were cases of men of the armed forces preventing election observers from performing their legitimate duties even after proper identification.
Executive Director, Faith Nwadishi, said the group was concerned over the reported killings in parts of the country by soldiers, notable among which she mentioned as Rivers, Bayelsa and Yobe states.
She said in some cases, especially in riverine areas, voters were turned away from accessing their polling booths by the military, who she said blocked their access roads.
Hear her:”The conduct of men of the armed forces deployed to flash points to ensure the security of lives and properties leaves much to be desired. “In many instances, men of the armed forces left their primary responsibilities and became participants in the electoral process. Cases of such involvement in the electoral process were reported in places like Rivers, Bayelsa and Yobe states.
“Also there were cases of men of the armed forces preventing Election Observers performing their legitimate duties even after proper identification.
“In some cases, we had reports of voters being turned away from accessing their polling booths as was reported in the riverine areas of Delta state where water ways were blocked.
“We observe that in many cases security agencies were slow in responding to security breaches. This led to situation were citizens were left with no option than to resort to self-help. This is a call to anarchy.”
Mrs Nwadishi thanked Nigerian voters for their enthusiasm and resilience to vote despite what she described as “challenges encountered and the earlier postponement of the elections.”