Fred Ezeh, Abuja
An election observer group, Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has raised the alarm over increased militarisation of 2019 general elections.
The group was afraid that the new trend which is against the provisions of the Electoral Act portends grave danger to Nigeria’s democracy
The group said it was yet to recover from the effect of military involvement in last two year’s presidential elections when it’s observers reported massive deployment of military men in some states for the polls.
CTA Executive Director, Faith Nwadishi, who addressed a press conference in Abuja, on Friday, reminded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of provisions of Electoral Act and electoral guidelines which discourage the involvement of the military in election matters.
She said: “The new practice of militarisation of elections in Nigeria is unacceptable. We received reports from states that military men now play an active role in our electoral process as against the provision of the Electoral Act.
“The Electoral Act stipulates that only INEC can determine when and if there is the need for military intervention.”
She appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in that regard, by directing immediate withdrawal and replacement of soldiers with police especially in perceived areas/states of interest by the ruling party.
Nwadishi commended INEC for its directive that nursing mothers, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and the elderly should be given special treatment at the polling units.
She called for the arrest of individuals involved in election violence and prosecute them to create deterrence and to fight impunity.