Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has insisted that the military should not be on election duties.
CDD Director, Ndayat Hassan, who stated this while briefing Newsmen at the election analysis centre on Thursday in Abuja, stated that apart from trouble spots in the Northeast, the military has no business being on duty during the period of voting.
Ndayat noted that with voters’ morale very low, the presence of gun welding military men would further demoralise voters.
President Muhammadu Buhari at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the All Progressive Congress (APC) said that ballot box snatchers would be committing their last unlawful act, the same with anybody that engages in any act of thuggery.
Also, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai on Tuesday insisted that the army will obey the orders of the Commander-In-Chief, President Buhari.
According to Hassan, finding has revealed a progressive decline in voter turnout which would further worsen due to the heavy military presence on election day and the ‘drums of war’ being beaten by various candidates in the Saturday polls.
“There is nothing like capital punishment for election offenders in our constitution. Even when they are tried in court, there is a punishment for it which does not excess two years or N500,000. Even when they are tried with the criminal code, there is nothing that suggests shoot at sight or capital punishment.”
On his part, Dean of Post Graduate Studies at Nile University Abuja, Professor Nuhu Yaqub, noted that the elections were postponed due to inefficiency on the part of the electoral body.
According to him, considering the huge funds at INEC’s disposal there was no reason for them to postpone the elections.
The non-governmental organisation urged INEC to among other things address payment of ad-hoc staff, review the security arrangement in the volatile Northeast states, police should undue deployment of security personnel close to election period.
The group also urged the electoral body to increase its confidence building level before Saturday, calling on stakeholders to not just talk peace but also act it.
Fielding questions from journalists at this event, Professor Adele Jinadu, said that the redeployment of Commissioners of Police close to the election day might send wrong signals to both Nigerians and the international community.
According to him, even INEC resisted the temptation to reshuffle its commissioners.
He said: “The election is going to be very competitive causing the parties to deploy every strategy to ensure they come out victorious.”