- The National Democratic Front (NDF) has cautioned against heating up the polity
- The NDF said YIAGA's call for the withdrawal of Military personnel at the polls is uncalled for
- According to NDF, such move could wrong impression that Mr President was only interested in the credibility of federal elections
Following incidents which took place in various states of Nigeria during the presidential, National Assembly and state governors' elections among others, the National Democratic Front (NDF) has cautioned against heating up the polity.
The NDF specifically cautioned the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement Africa (YIAGA) as it accused the group of efforts to create unnecessary panic in the polity "in the name of observations."
The front in a statement released on Sunday, March 10, said the call for the withdrawal of military personnel during last Saturday's governorship and state Assembly elections by YIAGA was uncalled for.
A statement by secretary general of NDF, Bolaji Abdulkadir, alleged that the youth group is playing mind games with Nigerians by creating scenario where President Muhammadu Buhari would be perceived as reversing himself after earlier giving the order to the military.
Abdulkadir said it appears that YIAGA’s intention by calling for Military's withdrawal from the election space was to create the wrong impression that Mr President was only interested in the credibility of federal elections.
He said had President Buhari fell for the call by the youth group by preventing the military from performing their duties during the state elections it is apparent that the opposition would have had a field by declaring that it has found its mythical smoking gun.
Abdulkadir said: “The true intention of YIAGA must be further called to question as series of incidents during the elections in question confirmed that political actors, across party affiliations, are subjecting the process to untold violence."
"Second guessing the professionalism of the military, which was only called in to do the needful based on security report, therefore presents YIAGA as group that is disappointed that its affiliated political party was unable to cash in on violence to earn political advantage.
"The National Democratic Front has nothing against YIAGA delivering its paid services to its clients in the opposition but it is pertinent that the group gives some thoughts to the number of lives that would have been lost to electoral violence had the military not deployed to offer deterrence against those that had premised their political success on the deployment of industrial scale violence.
"As things stand, the blood of those killed in the recorded instances of violence already cry out against organizations like YIAGA, whose crying wolf had limited the military’s ability to robustly respond to fully curtail violence," it said.
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The statement further urged the Military not yield to blackmail by politically sponsored CSOs on issues of national security.
It said: "The leadership of the military must particularly note that there are indication that these groups, the opposition and their hired hands are reportedly plotting to unleash violence on the country after the elections, when troops would have withdrawn from their current assignments.
It must therefore remain at alert to safeguard the country from hirelings of foreign interlopers that are interested in destroying Nigeria’s democracy," the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Samuel Onoja, the coordinator of the 2019 general elections local observer groups in Enugu state, has lauded the good conduct of the Nigerian Army in the southeast during the governorship and state assembly elections in the zone.
The southeast is under the Area of Responsibility (AR) of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, popularly known as “The Dragons’’.
Onoja said in Enugu on Monday, March 11, that there was no unpleasant report concerning soldiers deployed to assist other sister-security agencies in keeping the peace, describing the army operatives as exemplary in their conduct during the polls.
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