Alleged military interference in elections in some states of the federation has now become a central debate in 2019 elections.
Some observers had raised concerns over the alleged interference which they said was witnessed during the presidential and national assembly poll on February 23.
Despite the facts that the military had said it will remain apolitical, allegations have been going around about the direct interference in the process especially in the south-south and south-east.
Recall that Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike had alleged that the military took over the duties of the police in the state during the poll.
Samson Itodo, the Executive Director, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth, and Advancement (YIAGA), has now made the same allegation.
Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s special programme on the 2019 elections, The Verdict, on Sunday, Itodo alleged that military personnel chased observers and some party agents out of the collation centres in some states.
While noting that the action went contrary to the promise made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve on the presidential election, he listed the affected states as Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Imo and Zamfara.
According to him, during the collation process in Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Imo and Zamfara, yesterday (Saturday), military men literally chased observers and some party agents out of the collation centers when the results came in from the polling units,” he stated.
Speaking on the transparency of the process, Itodo pointed out that the results collation process threatens the integrity of the election results that will come from those particular locations.
Itodo, who accused some ruling political parties of using state-controlled institutions to manipulate the nation’s electoral process, stated that YIAGA’s observers were closely monitoring the collation process in 642 local government areas in the 29 states where the elections held.
“You could see that the military was deliberate in disrupting the process. They were there hijacking the election materials, in some cases intimidating some polling officials and that is really unacceptable,” he added.