Saturday, 9 February 2019

Group Decries Deployment Of Soldiers For Election

The acting National Chairman of United Patriots, Chukwudi Ezeobika, has faulted the decision of the Federal Government to deploy soldiers across the 36 states of the Federation and Abuja during the elections.

He said the deployment portended danger to the nation’s democracy.

Ezeobika, who is also the party’s senatorial candidate for Anambra-South, in a statement in Abuja on Friday, said the decision was unconstitutional and was enough reason to remove the President from office.

He said, “Militarisation of a country during elections is a clear indication of failure on the part of the government and remains an act which must be condemned by all lovers of democracy.

“The decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to deploy the Nigerian military, tagged Operation Python Dance, across the federation during the 2019 General Elections remains illegal and unconstitutional and sufficient to have him impeached and removed from office.

“It is legally and morally wrong for the Nigerian government to call in soldiers and police in crisis-free, peaceful and calm states of Nigeria during the coming 2019 General Elections to intimidate the electorate.”

Ezeobika said the nation’s Constitution was clear on the circumstances and conditions under which soldiers could be deployed.

He listed the conditions to include the need to defend Nigeria from external aggression; maintenance of the territorial integrity and securing the country’s borders from violation; and suppressing insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the President.

On the suppression of insurrection and assistance to civil authorities, he said the President’s powers could only be deployed on terms and conditions prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

“To this extent, this third use of the President’s powers is subject to conditions laid down by the National Assembly. Furthermore, the power to deploy troops to suppress insurrection is exactly that; not deployment for election duties.

“While the President is free to deploy our Armed Forces to defend our country against aggression and to maintain our territorial integrity, without control, he can only deploy them against insurrection and other internal armed conflicts under the guidance and control of National Assembly, through an Act of the National Assembly.

“In view of the foregoing, it is extremely important that President Buhari, without further delay, reverses this ugly trend and have our soldiers deployed in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in order to enable the Nigerian electorate to go out freely to exercise their rights during the general elections.”

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