How soldiers were used to rig elections in Taraba — Community Leaders

A soldier is photographed at a polling unit in Taraba, during the recent presidential elections.

Irked by the deployment of soldiers during the last presidential and national assembly elections, Southern Taraba Communities of Wukari, Takum and Ibi have threatened to boycott Saturday’s governorship and state House of Assemblies elections should soldiers be deployed again for the poll.

The communities alleged that soldiers deployed in the state during the March 28 elections frightened and intimidated voters and allowed room for malpractices.

They said the army, rather than help make the elections smooth and fraud-free, were used to rig the elections in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The communities cited incidents where voters were openly threatened by trigger happy soldiers deployed in Wukari and Takum, leading to “rigging of the results” in the presidential election.

Fielding questions from journalists in Jalingo, the Taraba state capital, the President of Jukun Community, Benjamin Bako, accused the military of aiding the PDP in the alleged electoral fraud.

“We were shocked to notice that soldiers were manning polling booths, intimidating us with guns. Even in Takum they shot people, so if things will continue unabated I am telling you, we will not allow people to come out during the forthcoming elections.

“This is democracy, people should be allowed to vote candidates of their choice,” Mr. Bako said.

Another community leader, Bello Kwararrafa, said there were instances where agents of rival political parties were abducted, manhandled and forced by soldiers acting on the orders of the Federal Government to lie prostrate on the ground.

“Armed soldiers were used by the PDP as aides to the collation officers. There was no collation of results at the ward levels as prescribed by the Electoral Act. All the collating officers and presiding officers were directed to go and submit their results at the local government level from where they collected all the results from the booths in the presence of soldiers,” Mr Kwararrafa alleged.

Also, the Social Democratic Party governorship candidate in the state, David Kente, named Wukari, Takum and other places as some of the worst zones of alleged electoral fraud.

Mr. Kente said apart from “unprecedented rigging”, the areas also witnessed abduction of agents of rival political parties, who were manhandled by soldiers.

He criticised security agents for barring opposition party agents from entering the collation centre in Wukari, while giving the PDP officials unfettered access into INEC premises.

“The soldiers pointed machine gun at me, that I should leave the place or else I would be shot, so to avoid crisis I left.

“Soldiers were deployed at polling stations, preventing party agents,” he alleged.

But when contacted the Takum Unit Commander, who led soldiers during the elections, Obinna Egemule, a lieutenant colonel, denied the allegations.

He said, “They wanted to cause violence, so that the elections would not take place. I prevented them from doing that.

“The armoured tank was stationed at INEC office because they threatened to burn down the INEC office. So all the allegations are baseless,” Mr. Ejemole said.


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  • citizenka

    Boycotting of election is a wrong move. You need to vote and then guard your votes.

  • Naira

    Just simply vote against the party that use army to intimidate you.

  • the truth

    apc times still using this kind of journalism. i hope now your coupist has won the election u would scrutinize his government too. Soldiers were deployed to kano and sokoto but i did not see any write up against massive rigging there

    • Festuso

      Why don’t you address the issue at hand which is Taraba State instead of diverting to Kano and Sokoto. Somebody calls you a Cow thief and you respond by saying you also know others equally guilty of stealing …..does that make YOU less of a Thief?

      • share Idea

        Did the picture reflect the soldier doing anything untoward. Where the voters not observing what was going on. PT feed us another lie.

    • Prince Damian

      If you have your facts please post it and if not , shut the hell up. PDP have been using the military to intimidate voters and we saw that in Ekiti so what are you talking about? Buhari will win Jonathan again and again if the election is to be done 5 more times. We voted Buhari free of charge,while the likes of you voted for Jonathan for the money he paid you all enemies of Nigeria.. If Jonathan gives me money to ve voted for him, I would reject it because I have been supporting Buhari since he has started contesting in our democratic dispensation.I love him

  • MegaMoneyMan

    We need some electoral reforms in Nigeria minimize all these frauds. We have to evolve from where we are currently.

  • SAM .A

    Three Judges from Sokoto, Abuja & Lagos have ruled that Soldiers must not participate in 2015 Election because it is a civil process. Doing otherwise is a violation of our Court law.
    To make the remaining election free & fair without intimidation from any side.Lai Mohammed, Garba Shehu and Femi Fanikayode / Ahmodu Ali should obtain court verdicts from those 3 Courts and serve the following
    1 . All the Four Service Chiefs.
    2. All Brigade Commandants
    Publish same in 4 major News Media .
    The Police must be given unfettered access to perform their civil duty.
    God bless Nigeria .
    Please spread this information.

  • Tunji Olarewaju

    These same soldiers that can’t defend our territorial integrity will find their strength against defenseless civilians. Bunch of women bearing arms

    • Guguru

      I find it amazing they can intimidate innocent citizens but not Boko Haram.

  • paul zadok

    Sad, those power hungry Taraba elites in Abuja are the sponsors, people like damien dodo Emanuel bwacha and their boy kataps the current ssg. All working for ty danjuma. We will see how their puppet the pdp gubernatorial candidate will win the election and how Suntai will remain in government house forever.

  • abdullahi

    Why should the Military be at the polling booths? They have no business there. This could be part of the plans of Gen. Minima to rig the election for GEJ.They plan to rig but God diffused their rigging and other cheating plans.

  • Fanen Harden

    Its a matter of time, Taraba Youth will show you guys who they really are keep on doing that, once we finally unit as one from Wukari, Donga,Takum to Ibi and up to Gashaka, Gassol, Jalingo and Karim Lamido, una go see how we no longer smiling about the mischief u causing our state from progressing. Taraba Youth will surprise you soon.