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Stick to professional duty, army told

2015-02-13 11:06
File: AFP

Lagos – The Arewa Consultative Forum, has reportedly warned the military to stay out of the country's politics, urging it to stick to its professional duty of protecting Nigerians.

According to Information Nigeria, the socio-political organisation called on the army to focus on its constitutional duty of protecting the lives and property of Nigerians.

This comes following the delay of the country's general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), with growing concerns that the army could have played a major role in the postponement.

Reports early this week said The All Progressives Congress (APC) had accused the presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of planning to use the military to rig the rescheduled March general elections.

Apolitical and non-partisan

The elections, which are expected to be the most fiercely contested since the country returned to civilian rule in 1999 were delayed by six weeks – from 14 February to 28 March and 11 April.

APC said it had information that the presidency had forwarded a secret memo to all commanders of divisions and battalions of the Nigerian army for a three-day strategy meeting in Kaduna on how to use the military to intimidate voters in the APC states to rig election in favour of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The military has, however, denied any involvement in the country’s politics, with defence spokesperson Major General Chris Olukonde saying the army would remain apolitical.

"It is important to reassure Nigerians that the military will remain professional, apolitical and non-partisan in all operations ... related to [elections]," Olukonde was quoted as saying.

Read more on: apc  |  pdp  |  goodluck jonathan  |  politics  |  elections 2015

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