Withdraw your statement on ballot-box snatching - Army chief tells Atiku

Withdraw your statement on ballot-box snatching - Army chief tells Atiku

- The PDP presidential candidate has been advised to withdraw his statement urging soldiers not to obey President Buhari directive against ballot-box snatchers

- The advise was given to Atiku by the Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai on Wednesday, February 20

- Buratai said direct and public incitement of the Nigerian Military against democracy and constituted civil authority will not be tolerated

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has called on the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, to withdraw his statement on Army allegiance to President Buhari's directive on ballot-box snatchers.

Buratai while speaking at a meeting with principal staff officers, directors and general officers commanders on Wednesday, February 20, said the call on the Army to disobey President Buhari's shoot at ballot-box snatchers by Atiku is unfortunate.

Stating the position of the Army on the Army against electoral offenders, the Chief of Army Staff said, direct and public incitement of the Nigerian Military against democracy and constituted civil authority will not be tolerated.

Buratai also saying that the Army would remain professional in carrying out its duty during the election noted that one of the military's core values is loyalty to constituted authority.

He said: "It is unfortunate to hear persons who are aspiring to rule this country again inciting the army to disobedience. We have consistently stated our position in the political dispensation to remain neutral and apolitical."

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"However, direct and public incitement of the Nigerian Military against democracy and constituted civil authority will not be tolerated. I request such persons to withdraw this inciting statement.

"Let me reemphasize loud and clear, that the Nigerian Army is a professional army. The foundation of military professionalism is discipline and without discipline an army cannot stand. One of our core values is loyalty to constituted authority.

"Loyalty must be hundred per cent. I shall leave you in no doubt as to our resolve to bequeath a professionally responsive army to Nigeria and Nigerians.

"Should any officer or soldier have doubts as to his loyalty to the Nigerian state as presently constituted, such a person has up to 22 February 2019 to resign. There is no room for indiscipline or disobedience to lawful orders in the NA today.

"I want to remind all here present that the act of electoral thuggery, snatching of ballot boxes, illegal possession of elections materials and similar crimes are intended to mar an election and create deliberate avenues for post-election violence and mayhem.

"Such actions can also become more damaging when they are widespread, leading to destruction of lives and properties," Buratai said.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that senior advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, on Monday, February 18, reacted to a controversial directive given to security agencies on ballot box snatching by President Buhari.

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Ozekhome in a statement said the directive by the president that anyone who snatches ballot box at the polls does so at the expense of his life is unpresidential and unconstitutional.

According to the he senior lawyer, President Buhari through his statement was usurping the powers of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the police.

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Source: Legit Newspaper

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