- Elections consolidate Nigeria’s democracy, Presidency replies critics
The Nigerian Army says its officers and men were firm and resolute in providing security support during the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
Nwachukwu dismissed smear campaigns in the social media and other fora against some senior commanders and officers, as sheer mischief.
He said that the Army’s firm and resolute stance in providing security support for the elections “effectively curbed and prevented ill-intentioned groups from violently interfering with the process.
“There is no doubt that Nigerians are excited at this responsible posture and the democratic opportunity it offered them.
“However, some interest groups that were effectively prevented from hatching their nefarious plots to influence the course of the elections through violence are understandably piqued by this assertiveness of the Nigerian army.”
The Army spokesman said the Nigerian army was nationalistic in its make-up and organisation, drawing strength from the nation’s diversities as constitutionally conceived.
He explained that the responsibilities of the army in elections were to support primary law enforcement and election stakeholders, to ensure that Nigerians choose their leaders and representatives in a peaceful manner.
This goal, according to him, remains the army’s only focus and one it will continue to pursue, mindful that the average citizen expects nothing less from it.
Nwachukwu assured the public that any misconduct against any personnel would be responsibly investigated.
He added that any personnel found culpable would face appropriate disciplinary sanctions in accordance with established practices and extant laws.
Nwachukwu however warned that the Army would not allow the character and reputation of any senior officer, earned over three decades of meritorious service, to be destroyed by misguided elements through mere speculations.
“The resort to the sentiments of ethnic and religious colourations would not also diminish the Nigerian army’s resolve to carry on its roles professionally.
“The Nigerian Army, therefore, urges all Nigerians to ignore the mischief being propagated by ill-intentioned individuals and groups and continue to go about their civic responsibilities without any fear of molestation.
“We would continue to work with sister Services and other Security Agencies to meet all security-related expectations of citizens as enshrined in the laws of the Federation,” he added.
February elections consolidate Nigeria’s democracy, Presidency replies critics
Similarly, the Presidency on Monday evening said the Presidential and National Assembly elections of February 25 has consolidated Nigeria’s democracy and improved the integrity of the Electoral Act 2022.
It also argued that as much as international observers faulted the irregularities witnessed in the collation of results, due credit must be given to the efforts of the Buhari regime to ensure free and fair polls.
“Though it is true there were some delays and technical faults in the process that we can learn from – as is the case in any election the world over – the vote progressed and consolidated democracy in Nigeria,” a statement signed by the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, read late Monday.
It noted that the adversities faced in some quarters are all part of the learning process for Nigerians, the government and the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“No one has disputed the result of the election, except the candidates that fell short. The biggest and the most competitive presidential election in the history of Nigeria has been won by one man: Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“The US State department congratulated President-elect Bola Tinubu of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC and the people of Nigeria on the outcome of the ‘competitive election.’ British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, was also quick to congratulate the winner on this victory. And so did many others in ECOWAS and the African Union.
“Though it is true there were some delays and technical faults in the process that we can learn from – as is the case in any election the world over – the vote progressed and consolidated democracy in Nigeria,” Shehu wrote.
The Presidency argued that the integrity of the Electoral Act of 2022 was strengthened as it paved the way for the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System which, it claimed, cut out ghost, unauthorised or multiple votes to stem fraud.
“The election may not have been perfect, but due to the steps the government has taken, it is an improvement on previous polls.
“That achievement should not be overlooked. The next step is for the Election Commission to ensure transparency in collation.
“Adverse reactions as received from some quarters are themselves a part of the learning process for everyone,” it said.
The Presidency also maintained that despite the “epic lies, obfuscation, jingoism and hate, and told by global media” , Nigerians shocked the world by refusing religious hatred and sectarian politics.
Therefore, all true friends of Nigeria should join the people in proceeding forward for sustainable peace.
It also noted that the “APC victory in the presidential election, underscored by the nationwide wave of support in the National Assembly results, is a clear mandate for the party to retain power for another term of four years.
“This election is an improvement on past elections and due credit should be given to the government and people of this country,” Shehu noted
The Presidency thanked former ambassadors Mark Green and Johnnie Carson – along with other foreign observers – for their concerns over the logistics of the recent general election in Nigeria and their work as observers on the National Democratic Institute/International Republican Institute Election Observation Missions.