By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has berated Nigerian Army of favouritism, saying, recent ‘Show of Force’ by the Army and other security agencies is a veiled rigging plan for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A release issued in Uyo by Mr. Ini Ememobong, the PDP state publicity secretary, and made available to New Nigerian on Sunday, called on the Army to desist from partisan politics but to remain professionallsm in line with the rules of engagement in order for democracy to thrive in Nigeria.
Last Saturday, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations Officer, Major Bashir Jajira while addressing newsmen after a show of force in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital, had declared 10 local government areas in the state as flash points.
The areas which include; Ukanafun, Etim Ekpo, Ikot Ekpene, Oron, Uyo etc. Army said, it will deal decisively with ballot snatchers in these areas.
But the PDP in a swiftly reaction, has declared the announcement as a smokescreen to aid the Army high command to deploy military personnel to aid in the hijacking of election materials in favour of the APC.
“The recent show of force and subsequent declaration of 10 “local Government areas as flash points by the Nigerian army is a veiled rigging plan for the APC. This plan we have learnt was hatched after the failure of the army to effectively intervene at the Ikot Ekpene collation center to save the Warsaw general and failed Senator, Godswill Akpabio. .
“As a party we are at a loss as to the foundation or basis for the declaration of those areas as flashpoints. It is common knowledge that no casualty was recorded in the last elections in Akwa Ibom state, unlike other states where scores of people were killed and maimed. We will like to remind the military that their primary duty is the protection of the territorial sovereignty of our country and not to take over civil policing, except in extreme circumstances (which elections do not fall within).
“We hereby totally reject the proposed militarization of our elections and refer them to the judgment in the case instituted by President Muhammadu Buhari, who then was candidate of the APC in 2015 on the role of the military in elections.
“We again call on the Chief of Defence staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Army Operations and the entire Army High command to direct the GOC 6 Division to immediately withdraw the over 30 soldiers attached to Obong Nsima Ekere, the 15 soldiers attached to Chief Godswill Akpabio and the 8 soldiers attached to Senator Ita Enang
“As an indication of complicity between the Army and the APC currently in operation, it was the APC Governorship candidate who posted the news, even before the Army authorities pronounced it. The APC in Akwa Ibom has been boasting lately that, what the police under the ignoble watch of AIG Kimo could not do, the Army will do. Our obvious reply is found in the scriptural proclamation, “who is he that says a thing and it comes to pass, when the Lord has not commanded”.
PDP also used the medium to discourage superior military officers from becoming subjected to politicians in expectation for favourable postings and appointments.
“Finally, to the soldiers who are preparing to be deployed, we advice them to brace up to meet with the divine army of God which will be on duty on that day to guide His people and protect them from harm. Our party like always will trust in the name of the Lord our God, who is able to do all things, while the opposition will as usual, put their hopes on their horses, chariots and soldiers(Federal Might)”. The release added
The party urged electorates in the state to go out enmasse to their polling units and vote massively for what it described as “the sustenance of the prevailing peace, the continuation of the prosperity and the comprehensive development that the Udom Emmanuel administration represents”.