Military has no role to play in conduct of elections – Atiku

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Atiku and PDP bigwigs

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has called on security personnel deployed for the Saturday rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly elections to uphold the constitution and be professional in discharging their duties.

Abubakar made the call at the 84th National Executive Committee (NEC) Meeting of the PDP held on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to Abubakar, as military commanders and personnel they must be professional and never carry out any order that was not lawful.

“I urge all security agencies to uphold the country’s constitution with an understanding that voting was a civil activity and civic responsibility.

“The Nigerian military is constitutionally responsible for protecting our national integrity and its borders and has no role to play in the conduct of elections.

“Additionally, I call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), once again to remain impartial arbiters while ensuring that they conduct credible elections, this time around.

“INEC must ensure that all logistical challenges are addressed between now and Saturday, Feb. 23, and that all materials retrieved from the field are inspected by participating political parties before the commencement of the elections,’’ he said.

Abubakar, who expressed concern about losses of Nigerians due to the postponement of the Saturday presidential election, urged them not to be discouraged by the postponement.

“In spite of last week’s disappointment, I urge all Nigerians to come out and vote for the candidate of their choice, keeping in mind our desire to build a democratic and economically viable nation that will be respected amongst the league of democratic nations.

Abubakar said that the feedback from his supporters throughout the country from the nationwide campaign confirmed their desire and willingness to entrust their destiny to PDP as a viable alternative to their hopelessness.

He re-emphasised his commitment to peaceful election.

The National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, said his hope was that the NEC meeting would be an electoral victory celebration; but such celebration had been postponed for a week.

Secondus said that nevertheless, PDP victory was delayed, it could not be denied.

He stressed the need for non-deployment of military or paramilitary units to electoral duties as election was a civil activity, that the civilian police was best train to handle.

He also called for the closure of the national borders with the Republics of Chad and Niger, in particular.

The Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki, said that the PDP was against election rigging.

“We sign strongly that the law should be apply on anybody that carry out election rigging. We must operate as country with the rule of law and democracy.’’

Saraki commended all PDP members across the country for making the party campaign successful, despite the limited resources and harassment.

“I thank all Nigerians from the six geopolitical zones for the way PDP and its candidates, Abubakar was accepted.

“By God’s grace election will hold and we will win, because we represent the interest of Nigerians. Like they say, when your time has come, it has come and no one can change it. Abubakar your time has come.’’

The Chairman, PDP Board of Trustee, Sen. Walid Jubril, advised Nigerians to go back to their constituencies and vote for Atiku on the new day for the elections.

The Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, described the postponement of the election as the worst embarrassment Nigerians could ever suffer in the international community.

He, however, said that the postponement waste last sign that the PDP would be victorious in the Saturday presidential election.(NAN)

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