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Nigeria election: What would have happened if military wasn’t involved – Defence Chief

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Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin on Thursday said Nigeria would have witnessed serious crisis if the military did not play an active role in the general elections.

He spoke in Abuja during the orientation for Senators-elect and House of Representatives members-elect.

Speaking on “Issues on security and governance”, the CDS urged the National Assembly to support effective funding for the Armed Forces.

The Nation quoted Gen. Olonisakin as saying: “if the military must do what it ought to do, it must be funded appropriately”.

He said: “The armed forces of Nigeria derived its authority from p1 s3, 217 of the 1999 constitution which provides for the armed forces of Nigeria comprising of the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Navy and the Nigeria Airforce.

“During the just concluded 2019 general elections, the success of the electoral process was almost hampered by the security in some parts of the country. Many crises prone areas were properly maned by security services to ensure that the electorate were secured enough to carry out their civic duties of electing candidates of their choices.

“There have been various arguments by different positions of political parties and other stakeholders of the legality and otherwise of the military in support of the civic authority in the election process.

“A critical area of support that was provided, and perhaps, not very visible to the public, is the deployment of military logistics capabilities, especially naval and air access to support the movement of materials across the country.

“I need to reiterate that this deployment is in line with constitutional role of the armed forces of Nigeria as earlier stated.

“Even in the last general election 2019, the security situation in the country during the election process is better imagined if the military had not been deployed to perform their secondary responsibility thus the effect of security on governance is an important aspect that lawmakers, military personnel and the civil public need to understand in other to make the right decisions.

“A good understanding of these dynamics would enable political leaders and public officials to make realistic decisions and enact laws to achieve national security objectives. Over the years, the armed forces of Nigeria has built various capacities to enable it perform our various goals.

“This capacity development is dependent on a number of factors including training and the availability of adequate platforms which has direct impact in improving the capability of the armed forces of Nigeria in the field and subsequent effect on national security.”