By Taiwo Adebowale
Against the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and in defiance of Atiku Abubakar’s earlier warning, Nigeria’s Army Chief, Gen. Tukur Buratai, has started dispatching troops to interfere in the electoral process of the country.
The Army Chief held a meeting in Abuja on Wednesday with principal officers and commanders in which he said the Army was taking a proactive approach to stop election crimes such as ballot box snatching and violence, a role that Buhari’s main opponent, Atiku said wasn’t theirs.
Genearl Buratai has ordered troop to restrict the movement of people within locations around commands, as well as, carry out a stop and search adding that anyone found culpable should be handed over to the police.
Buratai declared that military escorts will be withdrawn from politicians especially retired military during the general elections.
The Army Chief advised all officers whose loyalty to the Nigerian state is shaky to resign before the next election date.
Presidential Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday, February 18 ordered the country’s security forces to extra-judicially kill anyone who attempts to snatch election materials during the forthcoming general elections in which he is seeking reelection.
The President has also ordered security agencies crack down on potential trouble makers during the rescheduled elections; an order the opposition parties see as cover-up for planned crackdown on opposition figures.
According to the Electoral Act, the kind of security deployment that is needed is determined and directed by the Independent National Electoral Commission and not a reelection seeking President.