The Kogi State Coordinator of the General Muhammad Buhari Campaign, Mr James Eneojo Ocholi, has berated the Nigerian army for pressurising INEC to shift the earlier scheduled dates of the February elections.
Ocholi said this in an interview with newsmen in Lokoja. According to him, " The Nigerian Army and the other armed forces have failed in their constitutional responsibilities in defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria .
"They have also allowed themselves to be used by politicians who hold the executive arm of government to influence or coerce or frustrate INEC."
Ocholi said they have information that the Nigerian Army wrote a letter to INEC expressing their unpreparedness to guarantee security during the elections. Ocholi asked some pertinent questions:
"Did INEC ask them of their state of preparedness? When did the Nigeria Army know that there will be election in Nigeria? If they were in this Nigeria, they should have known over a year ago. What effort did they put on ground to ensure the safety of the people in the elections?"
Continuing he asked: "When did they know that insurgence has been ravaging the North of Nigeria, is it a week ago? This is a development that has been on for four years and the executive arm of government has been handling this issue with kid gloves.
"Many of us are of the opinion that it is a ploy to enforce tenure elongation. As it is, in the next six weeks, they will repeat the same excuse, after another six weeks, they ll repeat the same thing, and plunge this country into another constitutional crisis or foist on this country another doctrine of necessity putting this country in an unbearable situation."
He said according to the constitutional provision, "Where a date has been appointed for the holding of an election and there is reason to believe that a serious breach of the peace is likely to occur if the election is proceeded with on that day or it is impossible to conduct the election as a result of natural disasters or other emergencies, the commission may postpone the election and shall in respect of the area or areas concerned appoint another date for the holding of the postponed election provided that such reason for the postponement is cogent and verifiable."
Drawing from this provision, he said that the issue of insurgency in Nigeria is notan issue of today or yesterday when INEC took its decision or few days ago when the army wrote a letter to it (INEC).