March 9: Stop Pitching Military against Nigerians, PDP Tells Buratai
Kola Ologbondiyan

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has cautioned the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, over the deployment of soldiers for elections, saying such was already triggering an uncontrolled crime against humanity in the nation.

The PDP in a statement signed by its Spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan stated that the massive deployment of the military was to use them to rig the Saturday’s elections.

The statement read in part, “This usurpation of the responsibility of the police and involvement of soldiers in the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections, led to the gruesome killing of over 30 innocent Nigerians in the Niger Delta as well as arbitrary arrest and detention of opposition figures, resulting in escalated insecurity in the region.

“The deployment of soldiers for the 2019 general elections, despite the extant ruling of the Supreme Court against such, is part of the grand plot by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to use the military to suppress opposition, instil fear in the citizenry and forcefully rig the elections.

The PDP said Gen. Buratai’s outburst on Wednesday, that the Army will be “tough” in its unconstitutional involvement in the conduct of elections, particularly in the Niger Delta, the South East and the North Central, appears to be a license to trigger-happy security agents to re-enact or even scale up their February 23 aggression against PDP figures in the March 9 governorship and State Assembly elections.

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The party has therefore called on Nigerians to note that following Gen. Buratai’s statement on Wednesday, soldiers last night commenced a targeted manhandling and mass arrest of PDP leaders in Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa states.

It stated that “In Rivers state, PDP leaders are being tracked down, arrested and taken to unknown destinations. The State Commissioner of Education, Dr. Tam Gogo Jaja, who was picked up by soldiers attached to the Director General of the Buhari Campaign Organization and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, is still being held in an unknown facility.”

It further alerted that compromised security agents have been hounding, arresting and detaining PDP figures in the North Central states of Kogi, Benue, Kwara and Plateau states ahead of the March 9 elections.

The PDP lamented that the APC was pitching the military against Nigerians not minding the collateral damage that usually occurred whenever soldiers clash with civilians.

“This is particularly given the fact that Nigerians in all PDP strongholds, spread across our country, are resolute in their resistance of any force that seeks to subvert their will at the March 9 elections.”

The PDP has therefore called on Nigerians to urge Gen. Buratai to redirect his officers and men from participating in the March 9 election so as to avert any breakdown of law and order in any part of our country before, during and after the March 9 elections.