The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has expressed support for the strong resolve of the Army authorities to be tough on political thugs and armed militias during Saturday’s gubernatorial and states’ Houses of Assembly elections.
BMO said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that because of the need to ensure a violence-free process across the country, the Army should not back down on its determination to deal with potential riggers and their sponsors, in spite of subtle blackmail from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“We are aware of the subterfuge of opposition elements who even before the elections were bent on tarnishing the image of every national institution that has any role to play in the electoral process, no matter how remote.
“After months of muck-raking and pot-shots at the Police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the run-up to the elections, PDP leaders have now shifted attention to the military over perceived bias.
“But this is the same Army that was not reported to have encroached on polling centres during the Presidential election and was highly praised by international election observers.
“And now that it has vowed to be tougher on potential trouble makers, we join millions of Nigerians to express support for the Army in its determination to stem the tide of violence witnessed in some states on February 23″, it said.
The group also commended plans by the Air Force authorities to provide air cover for security operations on Election Day.
It said this is necessary in view of revelations by of the Army of plans by some politicians to unleash armed militiamen as well as use the farmers-herders crisis to disrupt elections in some parts of the country.
BMO said: “Nigerians cannot afford to ignore an intelligence report publicly announced by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, so it is gratifying that his counterpart in the Air Force, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar has put some air assets on standby for deployment in flashpoint states.
“We also hope that there would be strong inter-security cooperation between patrolling members of the armed forces and the Police which is backed by law to be at polling centres especially in states prone to electoral violence”.
BMO expressed optimism that the military under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari would continue to be professional in the discharge of its electoral duties