2015 polls: Probe of ‘soldiers’ partisanship’ begins in Kaduna
By; ISAAC ODEH, Kaduna.
The five-man senior officers panel of inquiry constituted by the Nigerian Army authorities to investigate and make appropriate recommendation over alleged involvement in partisan politics by some officers and men of the Army during the 2015 general elections in the country has commence in Kaduna.
The panel which began work Monday at the headquarters of 1 Division Nigerian Army in Kaduna, has the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade as its President with Col. Danladi Salihu as Secretary.
Other members of the panel include, Brigadier General Emmanuel Kabuk, Brigadier General Sunday Araoye, and Brigadier General Baba Ibrahim.
Briefing Journalists in Kaduna, Major General Oyebade said the panel has two weeks, beginning from Monday, to submit its report to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai.
The panel President called on individuals with useful information about the issue to visit the panel and testify accordingly, adding that it is open to the general public even though it is purely a military affairs.
The Panel President said, “as most of you are aware, the last general elections conducted in March 2015 elicited criticism in some quarters, especially from the general public, particularly on conduct of Nigerian Army personnel during both the gubernatorial and presidential elections respectively.
“These allegations were centered on the gubernatorial elections conducted in some States such as Ekiti, Osun, Rivers and Akwa-Ibom, to mention a few.
“It is therefore based on all these weighty allegations that the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai on assumption of Command articulated his vision of having a professionally responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles instituted this Board of Inquiry.
“The panel is to investigate these allegations and recommend appropriate measures to prevent a reoccurrence in the future.
“The military as a noble profession of arms must remain apolitical in our democratic dispensation. Politics, we strongly believe should be left entirely to the politicians.
“I must hasten to add however, that in spite of these worrisome allegations, the military has to a large extent, performed creditably as the foremost guardian of the nation’s democracy.
“On this note, I would like to call on all the strata in the society and of course, the general public to please as a matter of urgency appear in person if they so wish and forward their petitions in form of memorandum either personally to Headquarters 1 Division Nigerian Army, Kawo, Kaduna or via courier addressed to the secretary, panel of investigation on elections, HQ 1Division, Kawo, Kaduna”.