The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Kaduna State Chapter, has alerted the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, on alleged threats to use Soldiers to compromise the forthcoming elections in Jere Local Government Area of the State.
The PDP in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Abraham Alberah Catoh, Thursday, said it decided to give a heads up to the COAS so that necessary measures are put in place to ensure that the good name of the institution is not dragged into the mud.
According to the statement, “Appreciating the challenges that our security agencies are grappling with at this moment in the history of our country, which apart from confronting the hydra-headed security problems of banditry, kidnapping, insurgency and separatist/secessionist agitations among others, include perception and reputation challenges, we write to respectfully but also painfully alert you to the threat of dragging the name and image of the Nigerian Army into the mud in the course of the forthcoming by-election for the now vacant seat of the Lere Federal Constituency of Kaduna State.
“We hasten to draw your attention to this, not only because we are an interested party in the forthcoming election as contestants but also because as patriotic Nigerians, we sympathise and empathise with the Nigerian Army as it toils day and night to not only ensure the protection of the territorial integrity of our country but also plays the unenviable (and even unnatural) role of performing internal security duties.
“Dragging it into the murky waters of partisan politics will do no good to its name, image or standing in the society.
“We observed with disdain, the fact that in the course of the conduct of the primaries of the APC, at the end of which its candidate for the forthcoming bye-election emerged, Soldiers (or what looked like them) conveyed in trucks, painted in Army colours were brazenly used to intimidate and harass other contestants in the primaries to the advantage of the eventual winner, ostensibly on account of some relationship he claims to have with a retired Senior Officer currently holding a very important and sensitive position.
“Much as we witnessed that shameless show and misuse of power and relationship from a distance then, we could hardly do anything because it would look like interfering in the affairs of a rival party.
“We however have every reason to raise the alarm now, because we are going into elections against the same person who perpetrated that wanton abuse of process and we have it on good authority that the same impunity is being planned on an even grander scale in the forthcoming bye-election.
“We believe that the Nigerian Army is a decent and professional institution, the Leadership of which cannot condone this kind of abuse, but it won’t be out of place to give you a heads up so that necessary measures are put in place to ensure that the good name of the Institution is not dragged into the mud again as people may react in a way that will put the Army and its Leadership in the difficult position of trying to explain the inexplicable.”