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Yoruba in US Warn Nigerian Army against Compromise

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An umbrella body for all Yoruba nationals
in the United States of America, Oodua
Nation, has called on the Nigerian Army
not to compromise its professionalism for
the rescheduled presidential elections to
meet the expectation of Nigerians and
international community.
The group also charged the National
Assembly and the Nigerian populace to
resist an alleged surreptitious attempt by
the Federal Government to use the military
to subvert the wishes of Nigerians in the
2015 presidential election.
In an e-mail made available to THISDAY in
Ado Ekiti on Saturday and signed by its
Chairman, Mr Samuel Ayodele, the group
said it would be tantamount to illegality
and abuse of office for President Goodluck
Jonathan to deploy soldiers to states being
controlled by All Progressives Congress
(APC), to rig the election in his favour.
The group’s position stemmed from the
allegation raised by the APC Presidential
candidate, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari
that the federal government was allegedly
plotting to use military to manipulate the
rescheduled elections.
Speaking on the controversial issue, the
group contended: “The 1999 constitution
specifically set forth the purpose of the
armed forces, to “defend Nigeria from
external aggression; maintain territorial
integrity and secure its borders from
violation on land, sea, and air; suppress
insurrection and act in aid of civil
authorities to restore order when called
upon to do so by the President, but subject
to such conditions as may be prescribed by
an act of the National Assembly (including
with regard to the performance of other
functions.”
The group stated that the National
Assembly must be alive to its statutory
oversight function in ensuring strict
compliance to effective and productive use
of the Nigerian Army.
“There is need for National Assembly
oversight as required by the constitution in
the use of military by the president. A key
feature of a democratically elected
government is its system of “checks and
balances” that helps prevent autocratic
rule, among other things.
“Equally important is the need to
counterbalance the executive’s power to
determine when and where to deploy the
military. We therefore call on the military
to be mindful and respectful of its
constitutional obligations to the country as
opposed to serving as a mere repressive
tool.
“To our fellow Nigerians, the election
postponement should serve as an incentive
to organise and not to agonise, and to use
your voting power come March 28 to reject
and repudiate Jonathan and his anti-
people policies and programmes”.
Oodua Nation expressed belief that the
alleged decision of the Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP) to arm-twist the Independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC) to
shift the polls, had lent credence to the fact
that the party harbours sinister motives
against the Nigerian electorate.
“We are of the belief that the heads of the
security agencies were being miserly with
the truth by saying that the election should
be postponed for security challenges posed
by the Boko Haram insurgency. Pakistan
and Afghanistan was at war with the
Taliban when the last three elections were
held in Afghanistan. Iraq held elections
despite being at war with Al-Qaeda.
“Fourteen local governments in the North-
east out of 774 local governments in the
federation were disrupted by Boko Haram
terrorists. It is therefore a noon-day
brazen electoral fraud on the part of Mr.
Jonathan and his service chiefs to hide
under the cover of the Haramists to
subvert the will of majority of Nigerians.
This is mischievous, reprehensible, and
barbaric.
“It is a threat to our democracy. We
strongly condemn this electoral heist. Only
a fool from outer space will believe six-
week delay of elections will end the
insurgency that has taken on a life of its
own. Sensing defeat at the polls, Mr.
Jonathan devised crude and primitive
strategies to rig the election.
“The service chiefs should be ashamed of
themselves for their crass incompetence to
rescue over 200 Chibok girls who were
carted away like livestock more than 300
days ago and for having the audacity to
play on intelligence of Nigerians that they
would end Boko Haram in six weeks”, it
said.

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