By Joseph Kingston, Calabar
The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has
warned the Nigerian armed forces against involvement in the forthcoming elections, saying any
form of involvement was an aberration which would do Nigeria no good.
Speaking in Calabar over the weekend during his presidential campaign, Atiku said “let me warn
the federal government and let me also caution the military. The federal government should not
use the military to truncate democracy. The military are not supposed to get involved in
elections. Only the police are supposed to keep law and order. I have heard and read many
statements from the military high command threatening people, threatening politicians. Let me
address the military: please, you have no part to play whatsoever in our electoral process. Be
guided and remain and operate within the confine of our constitutions. I am a very constitutional
person and I will defend law and order as enshrined in our constitution.”
He told the crowd which filled the 15,000-capacity UJ Esuene Stadium that his government
would be transitional and would midwife another which would be led by youths, adding that his
cabinet would be made up of seventy percent youths and women if voted into power.
Speaking earlier, national chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, alleged that the federal
government was making plans to rig the elections, saying such plans would be resisted. “They
must not plunge this nation into crisis because of one man. We have all heard about the body
bags threat of the Kaduna state governor, but we tell them: you cannot kill anybody again,” he
said, and therefore called on Nigerians to make sure they protect their votes.
The director general of the Presidential Campaign Organisation, Dr Olusola Saraki, in his
remarks said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government has failed in areas of
security and economy. “Atiku is tested in public sector and in private sector and has done
creditably well. He would not bring Nigeria into ridicule in the eyes of the international
community. He is on a salvage mission and shall lift Nigeria from poverty and suffering to
wealth,” he stated.