- Lt Gen Tukur Buratai insists that the Army did not engage in militarisation of the 2019 elections
- Buratai said people were using the word ‘militarisation’ without defining it and that the Army only supported the police during the elections
- The Army chief said critics were using the military in order to justify their failures and their inability to rig the exercise
The Nigerian Army has pushed back against allegations that it engaged in partisan interference during the 2019 general elections.
The chief of Army staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, stated that the military was involved in the elections in a supporting role for the police.
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Legit.ng notes that Buratai further kicked back against the term, ‘militarisation’; stating that people were using the word without defining it.
He said: “Militarisation has to be defined. What do you mean by militarisation? How exactly did the military take part in the elections? Generalisation is not the best. People just use the word militarisation without defining it.
“Was the so-called militarisation everywhere across the country? Why are people making so much noise about it? They are giving the impression that the military was involved in the entire process in the whole country. It is just probably a definition they only restricted to Lagos or where?
“People cannot just use the word militarisation in general terms to say the security agencies were involved. Who are the people involved? What does the constitution say about the role of the military? We have the constitutional provision.
“We have made it very clear; we are not part of these elections, we are only supporting the police. Anything we do there is helping the police who are representing the civil authority in law enforcement and it is very clear that we have been called out to support the civil authority. That does not mean militarisation.
“And once we go out there, we are performing police role, it is not a military role, we are supporting the police essentially; that is very clear. The military was called out to come and support the police.
“So, they are just using the military in order to justify their failures, to justify their inadequacies, to justify their inability to rig because the security forces provided the needed security to prevent massive rigging, ballot box-snatching and so on.
“But strictly, the use of the word, militarisation is misplaced, it is wrong. We were there to perform our responsibilities based on the invitation to support the police which is legitimate."
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was accused by Buba Galadima, a spokesperson for the Atiku Campaign Organisation, of using the military to intimidate voters and rig the 2019 elections.
Galadima said the events in Rivers state were evidence of the intimidation.
He said: “It is not an accusation; the military are good candidates of the International Criminal Court. I saw it on television where they were going to houses, killing people.”
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