We didn’t involve ourselves in Kaduna polls – Army

The Nigerian Army has denied its involvement in the recently conducted Kaduna State Local council polls.

Deputy Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Muhammad Dole was reacting to a press release credited to People’s Democratic Party that the security apparatus was used by Kaduna state governor, Nasir el-Rufai to intimidate voters during the election.

A statement signed by its spokesperson, described such a release by the PDP as baseless and a deliberate blackmail to tarnish the image of Nigerian Army, saying it is attempt to drag it into partisan politics.

The statement partly read: “The attention of the 1 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to a press release issued by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Kaduna State Chapter.

“The statement alleged involvement of the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division Nigerian Army (NA), Major General M Mohammed in the recently concluded Local Councils elections in Kaduna State.

“It is observed with dismay that stalwarts of either political party faction or an opposition party are resorting to desperate blackmail and outright falsehood with intent to drag the military into party politics.

Previously it was false allegation of demolition of a party Secretariat and now direct involvement of the GOC. This allegation is totally baseless and irresponsibly conceived with ill motive of tarnishing the image and personality of the GOC.”

While urging the public to disregard such a statement, the army noted that it is conscious of its role in the conduct of any election exercise, and strictly abide by the Nigerian Army Code of Conduct on elections exercise.

Dole challenged the PDP to back up its allegations against Nigerian Army with pictorial views or visual evidence of the scenes of the event to prove the involvement of the GOC or troops of the 1 Division NA in any part of Kaduna State.

The army also demanded retractions of the allegations and make public apology before next week Saturday to avoid legal battle.

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