BENIN—FORMER Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Rowland Owie, yesterday, disagreed with the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, over his comment that the Army was not empowered to monitor the forthcoming general elections.
He expressed fears that members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, who will serve as ad-hoc staff of INEC during the elections and even voters may suffer if the Army was not on hand to provide adequate security, adding that the comments made by the INEC boss indicated that he does not care about the lives of his staff.
Owie said: “It is now clear that Jega really does not mean well for this country. Whose children does he want his brothers in the North who have been killing in the name of Boko Haram to kill as they did in 2011? I hope Jega knows that a youth corps member is not a street begger. His life is dear to his parents and to the country. “These children must be protected and as such soldiers must monitor the polls. Was Jega in a trance when soldiers provided security for elections in Edo, Ekiti and other states during those elections?
Is it a case of ‘if I don’t have my way, I destroy it’? I had a soft spot for Jega until now that he has shown that he does not love this country at all. How does Jega want to conduct elections without the maximum security in a country where President Goodluck Jonathan’s convoy and that of Buhari and the wife’s convoy were pelted? “I think Jega is dreaming to say no soldier for elections. Jega should know that he is not the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and only the President has the powers to deploy soldiers where he deems fit and not Jega.”