Nigerian military insists it was non-partisan in Rivers re-run

Protesters protesting irregularities in the just concluded Rivers rerun elections

The Director of Defence Information, Rabe Abubakar, on Thursday insisted that the military was non-partisan in the December 10 legislative elections in Rivers.

Mr. Abubakar made the clarification when he visited the Rivers council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, in Port Harcourt.

He said the military conducted itself professionally as its personnel were only deployed to flash points several kilometres away from election centres.

“The military involvement in the elections was only to prevent breakdown of law and order before, during and after the elections in the state,” the spokesman said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the clarification is coming on the heels of accusations from notable political parties who claimed the military influenced outcome of the elections in favour of their opponents.

Abubakar challenged political parties and individuals making the accusations of military partisanship in the elections to come up with credible evidence to back up their claims.

“The military has responsibility of securing lives of electorate to ensure they have a safe and conducive atmosphere to peacefully exercise their franchise.

“On the event of any default (by personnel), the military authority has internal mechanisms to discipline any indicted officer.

“The military will never condone any individual found wanting of professional misconduct and did not take side with any political party in the conduct of Rivers re-run elections,” he said.

Mr. Abubakar said the military was currently undergoing reforms with focus to be more open to the media and provide quick response to enquiries from journalists.

He said the media was a very important stakeholder in its bid to maintain peace and complement other security agencies in the protection of lives and properties of citizens.

According to him, the media is very important stakeholder because in it contributes to peace in the society through its reportage of happenings in the country.


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