ALARM!!! Ballot box snatchers :Army ‘ll fully comply with President’s order – COAS Buratai
* Directs personnel to ensure 100% compliance
*Blasts Atiku over comments, demands apology
*Accuses Atiku of ‘inviting the army to disobey constituted authorities ‘
* Gives deadline for any personnel interested in politics to quit service
By Steve Oko
Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, Wednesday, said the Nigeria Army would fully comply with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive on ballot snatchers.
Buhari had during a national broadcast early in the week, directed the Army and Police to deal ruthlessly with anyone snatching ballot box.
Public outcry and condemnations have trailed the statement interpreted to mean ‘shoot at sight and death sentence ‘ by some analysts.
Meanwhile, the presidential candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, had accused Buhari of violating the constitution by the statement which, according to him, amounted to giving the security operatives power to kill Nigerians at will.
The former Vice President, therefore, asked the Army to ignore the statement the Nigerian Army to disregard the President’s directive, adding that the army should have no business in elections.
But Buratai lampooned Atiku for asking the Army to ignore the President who he said is their Commander -in -Chief.
He vowed that the Army must implement Buhari’s orders to the laters.
Buratai said Atiku’s statement was “most unfortunate given that he was in the highest level of government in the country before, and knows fully that the Nigerian Army in particular and the military, in general, are meant to obey the orders of the Commander-In-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces to the latter”.
The COAS, therefore, asked the former Vice President not only to withdraw the statement but to also apologise for attempting to invite the army against what he termed as “constituted authority” it was meant to fully obey.
Buratai spoke at a meeting he held with the Principal Staff Officers, General Officers Commanding and Brigade Commanders ahead of the polls billed to commence this Saturday.
Wawa News Global reports that the meeting is coming in less than 24 hours Buhari held closed door meeting with his security chiefs and three Northern Governors at Aso Rock.
Buratai warned politicians and their supporters against “testing the will of the army”, insisting that those found to have violated the law, will be treated in line with President Buhari’s directive.
The COAS announced that personnel attached to retired Army Generals, “especially those who have become politicians will be withdrawn”.
He said no political actors would be allowed army escort.
The COAS warned officers against any involvement in partisan politics.
He warned that any personnel found meddling in politics would be sanctioned.
buratai gave any army personnel interested in politics up to Friday, February 22 to resign.
He warned that the Nigeria Army would not fail in its responsibilities.