Masked soldiers were sighted on Friday in parts of Anambra State as the people prepared to vote on Saturday in the Governorship election.
The presence of the masked soldiers raised eyebrows, especially among Human rights activists.
Condemning the development, a popular rights activist in the state, Comrade Justus Uche Ijeoma, wrote on his Facebook wall late Friday:
“The presence of hooded military personnel in Anambra in the name of election security is uncalled for. I am wondering why a lawful organisation would allow its officials mask their faces while discharging their duties, if what they are doing is not criminal and unlawful. I think it’s only criminal elements who do not want to be identified with their acts that cover their faces when operating.
“These officers operating in military trucks numbers over two in a convoy, with their faces completely covered. Whatever their intentions are, covering their faces will definitely hurt the process. It’s counterproductive.”
Ijeoma alleged that the “Federal Government is used deploying soldiers for election activities. It happened in Ekiti in 2014, Edo in 2016.”
He, however, insisted that deploying masked soldiers was uncalled for, despite the campaign by the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for the boycott of the polls.
According to him, “Even when they were shouting ‘no election’, it’s not a justification for the military to deploy hooded personnel. What if they commit infraction? How are they going to be identified for appropriate sanctions? What is bad is bad and cannot be supported.”