By Umar Muhammad Puma
Foremost election and civic education coalition, the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), has rejected the deployment of heavy military and assortment of other security forces for the purpose of policing electoral environment.
Chairman of the group, Comrade Ibrahim Zikirullahi made the position known at the biennial general meeting held in Abuja yesterday, noting that emerging trends have shown that the excessive presence of the military in the electoral process is giving off vibrations that are not too pleasant for lovers of democracy.
“Ordinarily, elections are not wars that should require such massive deployment; it is a sinister machination of many desperate politicians, whose resolve to subvert the electoral process provided the alibi for the massive militarization of the electoral environment.
“Our take on the debate on militarization is that while we insist the electoral environment must be secured for voters to exercise their franchise, it is our considered view that the vigilance of the citizens is ultimately the best antidotes to electoral malfeasance” TMG stated.
He charged the electorates to always see the electoral process as something directly connected to their welfare and well-being and therefore do everything possible to defend their votes.
According to him, the raging debate over hooded deployment in the recently concluded Osun state governorship election is a case study in point of how abuse in the use of the military is creeping into the electoral process, and the allegation of arrest of opposition figures on the eve of recent elections.
He therefore called on the National Assembly to speedily expedite action on the proposed amendment to the electoral act that have been put forward by INEC for the smooth and the successful conduct of the 2015 elections.
Egwu who was a special guest at the event, charged the civil society to pay more attention to the political scenario that could emerge in the aftermath of the just concluded national conference 2014 to keep 2015 elections on the track so that the country will not missed the opportunity for consolidating Nigerian democracy.