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Godwin Otang- Calabar
The Nigerian Military has been adjudged very professional during Cross River state’s February 25th, Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Barrister Venatius Ikem disclosed this, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) state Chairman in Cross River, while reacting to allegations that the military interfered during the past elections.
“We want full security for the elections because top government functionaries are conniving to sell the mischief to the police that there was militarization and interference by the military during the elections, simply because they had no opportunity to manipulate thugs during the elections. We need the military.”
Explaining the stands of the party on the involvement of the military in the Presidential and National Assembly elections and the March 11th, governorship and state Assembly elections, the PDP state Chairman, explained that, from his observations on the field, the military was very professional in their activities during the polls.
“The deployment of the military to flash points remains a national concern and policy. And it cannot change for Cross River. We had identified flash points, and those flashpoints were totally policed including keeping some detachments of the military to ensure that there was no violence.
“There is nowhere across the state that anybody has reported any interference of the military in the voting process. The Military was only at the periphery of voting, in their tanks, did their patrols and that alone curbed the excesses of young men who may have been recruited for violence,” the chairman said.
Furthermore, the PDP state Chairman added that “Where the military suspected cases of election violence, they arrested people from both APC and PDP. As we speak, they even mention my name on what I know nothing about. The issue was not politicised in any way, the Military was neutral, anybody they suspected, they picked them up, detained them, and had subsequently handed them to the police for investigations.”
Recall that on Monday, the All Progressive Congress (APC) state chairman, Barrister Alphonsus Ogar Eba, had alleged that the military interfered during the past elections, and that the PDP used thugs, retired military officers, and voter suppression during the elections in Cross River North.