DHQ: Military Won’t Truncate Democracy

Col. Onyema Nwachukwu
  • Police, army order probe of collation centre clash
  • Warns mischief makers against interference in extra elections

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

Following reactions arising from its conduct in the just concluded general elections and militarisation of some parts of the country, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Thursday assured Nigerians that the military would not truncate democracy, saying it is fully subordinated to civil authority.

This came as the army and the police jointly launched an investigation into the Rivers State collation center clash between personnel of the two services.

And as the nation prepares for Saturday’s extra elections, the military high command warned mischief makers against interference with the elections in some parts of the country.

At a press conference addressed jointly by spokespersons of the Defence Headquarters, Police, Army, Navy and Air Force in Abuja, the Defence spokesman, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, said contrary to insinuations in some quarters, the military would not truncate Nigeria’s fledgling democracy.

“Some people have made comments about the military truncating democracy. It is weird and very unfortunate. This is the same armed forces that restored democracy in Sierra Leone, Liberia and recently, Gambia.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria is fully subordinated to civil authority. At all times, we ensure that we don’t cross the red line. We know our role in a democracy,” he said.

On the altercation between the army and police at the election collation center in Rivers State, he said the leadership of both agencies were working together to find a lasting solution.

Speaking earlier, Force Public Relations Officer and Assistant Commissioner of Police, (ACP), Frank Mba, said the military and police high command had ordered an investigation into the incidents while some video footages that circulated on social media during the election were being analysed.

He said a total of 1,119 suspects were arrested for electoral infractions during the period.
The Force Public Relations Officer said 796 suspects were arrested during the governorship and state House of Assembly polls, noting that 256 were picked up in Akwa Ibom, 117 from Imo State and 109 from Kaduna State.

Mba said some of the suspects were handed over to the police by the military.
On tomorrow’s supplementary elections, he warned mischief makers to desist from disrupting the election.

“Any person who tries to disrupt the election would be made to face the full wrath of the law,” he said.