Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has urged the Federal Government to reconsider the policy of deploying soldiers to supervise elections in the country, in order to protect their neutrality and avoid exposing them to undue politicization.
In a statement issued by his Media Aide, Garba Shehu, Atiku said with the unprecedented security challenges caused by terrorism, the nation’s military should be allowed to concentrate on this immediate tasks and challenges so as not to lose focus.
“The attention of the military should not be diverted to politics when terrorists are posing the greatest threat to our national security,” Atiku said.
Speaking apparently in respect to the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun states, the former Vice President explained that the frequent deployment of soldiers to supervise the conduct of elections in the country may potentially affect its credibility.
He recalled that the militarization of President Jonathan’s home state of Bayelsa prior to the last governorship election in the country had left a blemish that is difficult to erase in the annals of the country’s young democracy.
He stressed that in the absence of extraordinary emergency situation, there is no justification for dragging soldiers into politics.
He noted that gun-wielding soldiers at polling stations obscure the new democratic order in the country and that any interaction between soldiers and politicians at political activities such as voting would not be good for any democracy.
The former Vice President, however, said an adequately equipped and well motivated police could maintain law and order at polling stations during elections