A former Director of the State Security Service, Dennis Amachree, says the military should stay off the election process in Nigeria.
Mr Amachree said this on Thursday on the Sunrise Daily programme of Channels Television.
He said the primary assignment of the military is to protect the territorial integrity of the nation.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday stirred the hornet’s nest when he said he had given the military and police instructions to be ruthless with anybody who snatches a ballot box.
Premium Times reported that the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, took the cue and warned those planning to disrupt the upcoming election to desist as the army will not tolerate such actions.
The official said the Nigerian Army would not hesitate to deal with such people “appropriately.”
But Mr Amachree said soldiers should not be involved in elections, which are a civil process.
“The military have been dragged into politics because of the threat we face ” Mr Amachree said.
The former director said he believed soldiers will not go close to the pulling units. He assured Nigerians of their safety on the election day.
“Ballot box snatching is not the major problem but vote buying,” he said.
Mr Buratai also expressed dismay over the attitude of desperate politicians, ”whose unguarded statements and utterances are already inciting the public against the Army”.
He said the presence of the military will scare away voters and can lead to civil disobedience in the country.
Mr Amachree advised that the electoral system should be reviewed to yield better results.