Hakeem Gbadamosi, Akure
A socio-political organisation, Social Rehabilitation Gruppe (SRG) has condemned deployment of military troops to Nigerian cities by the Federal Government ahead of Saturday’s general elections, describing it as “unnecessary overkill, sheer intimidation and an anti-democratic move”.
In a statement by the SRG Convener/National Coordinator, Dr. Marindoti Oludare, abd signed by National Publicity Secretary of the group, Kayode Fasua, the group frowned over the development, saying the action had only portrayed Nigeria before the international community as a society at war with itself.
The group said the President had erred “in this anti-democratic decision” and that the court should hold him responsible once his immunity is over.
“We view with concern, the deployment of military troops to cities in the different states of the federation as if the states are war zones.
“Yes, Nigeria is set for a major election and requires utmost security arrangement to make the people perform their civic duties, but bringing troops, armoured tanks and other weapons of war for that purpose is unnecessary overkill and an anti-democratic move.
“It also runs foul against the spirit and letter of federalism which Nigeria professes to practise. Ideally for any federal system, an agreement has to be reached between the President and the Governor of a state before troops can be deployed in that state.
“But in the Nigerian situation, reverse is the case as the federal organ of government keeps bullying the state administrations, thus portraying us before the international al community as a society at war with itself”.
The group particularly complained at the level of civil intimidation in the country, warning that bringing in military personnel into the country’s democracy will only put the nation on reverse gear.
“We are to rule by the power of our example not the example of our powers. The rascal actions of the federal government deploying the military that should be deployed against criminal elements like the Boko Haram is reprehensible and we implore the courts to hold the President accountable when his tenure is over.
“Now, soldiers are on the streets of our major cities, parading military tanks as if we are under martial law,” it further lamented.”