Military performed police’s role during 2019 polls – Buratai

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai has kicked against allegations that the 2019 general election was militarised.

He said that the military only supported the police to maintain law and order during the polls.

The army chief disclosed this in an interview with Vanguard published on Friday.

According to Buratai, those complaining about the role the military played in the elections were only using it to justify their inability to rig and engage in massive ballot-box snatching.

Reacting to a question on whether the election was militarised, Buratai said:

People cannot just use the word militarisation in general terms to say the security agencies were involved. Who are the people involved? What does the Constitution say about the role of the military? We have the constitutional provision. We have made it very clear; we are not part of these elections, we are only supporting the police. A

nything we do there is helping the police who are representing the civil authority in law enforcement and it is very clear that we have been called out to support the civil authority. That does not mean militarisation. And once we go out there, we are performing police role, it is not a military role, we are supporting the police essentially; that is very clear. The military was called out to come and support the police. So, they are just using the military in order to justify their failures, to justify their inadequacies, to justify their inability to rig because the security forces provided the needed security to prevent massive rigging, ballot box-snatching and so on. But strictly, the use of the word, militarisation is misplaced, it is wrong. We were there to perform our responsibilities based on the invitation to support the police which is legitimate.
There is no way you will say that the election was militarised; it is misuse of the term. If really  the election was militarised, I tell you, nobody would take the law into his hands the way they did brazenly and deliberately did, even attacking our men, killing our personnel. An officer was killed, policemen were killed so if we were to take drastic steps to really show we were involved, it would have been worse than this.

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John is a University of Lagos-trained journalist. His views are always the end products of a deliberate search for information and knowledge. He has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He is an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming. If you know the capitals of 45 African countries by heart, then you are exactly like him.

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