Denies involvement in Rivers elections
By Kingsley Omonobi & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—THE Nigerian Army has warned foreign governments against interfering in Nigeria’s domestic issues, describing a statement credited to United Kingdom, which accused the military of undue involvement in the governorship election in Rivers State as baseless, untrue and capable of misleading unsuspected members of the public.
The army in a statement, yesterday, by its spokesman,Col. Sagir Musa, advised that any allegation against the army must be confirmed from appropriate quarters before jumping to conclusions.
In the statement, entitled: “Re: UK expresses concern over military involvement in Rivers poll,” the army insisted that the statement by the UK was untrue, especially when there was no credible record of such involvement any where in Nigeria before, during and after the 2019 elections. “
The statement read in part: “Foreign interests are, therefore, enjoined to be mindful of interfering in our national internal affairs, especially when there is no credible evidence.
“Any allegation against the Nigerian Army must be confirmed from appropriate quarters before jumping to conclusions.
“The Nigerian Army wishes to state that the statement is totally baseless, untrue and, therefore, capable of misleading unsuspected members of the public, especially when there is no credible record of such involvement any where in Nigeria before, during and after the 2019 elections.
“The Nigerian Army, as a responsible organisation, wishes to debunk such misrepresentation in order to set the record straight. Similarly, it is on record that the Nigerian Army has been globally applauded by many individuals, foreign and local elections observers for its sacrifices/roles in creating an enabling environment for a secure, transparent and peaceful conduct of the elections.
“The Nigerian Army has also drawn the attention of the public to mischievous activities of some selfish individuals who recruited thugs dressed in military uniform and armed to harass and intimidate their opponents.
“In some cases, as reported, and as indicated in various intelligence reports, hoodlums dressed in military fatigue snatched ballot boxes and other electoral materials. Some INEC staff were reportedly abducted.
“The Nigerian Army, for the umpteenth time, reiterates that it will remain apolitical, neutral and professional in the conduct of the 2019 general election and in all its assigned roles across the nation in line with the directive of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai.”
“The Nigerian Army has made it clear that its only interest and role in the entire electioneering processes is purely to assist civil authority and the Nigerian police to have a secure and peaceful conduct of the elections.
“Foreign interests are, therefore, enjoined to be mindful of interfering in our national internal affairs, especially when there is no credible evidence. Any allegation against the Nigerian Army must be confirmed from appropriate quarters before jumping to conclusions.
“Already the Chief of Army Staff,COAS has set-up a committee to investigate all complains relating to alleged professional misconduct by NA personnel in the conduct of the elections.
“Members of the public are further assured of the determination of the Nigerian Army to objectively carry out its constitutional duties, irrespective of the baseless accusations, especially from those who felt it has denied them freedom to illegally and selfishly subvert the choice of Nigerians.
“As a noble institution, the Nigerian Army, hereby, reassures members of the public of its determination to deal with any of its personnel whose actions fall foul of the law.”