- A First Republic Aviation Minister, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi has said that the present administration committed treasonable offence by deploying the military during the general election.
Amaechi maintained that the military should have no part to play in elections and internal security in the country.
Amaechi, a foremost nationalist, also noted that President Muhammadu Buhari would not have stepped down had he lost the election to Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party.
He told Vanguard that the military would have backed Buhari to sit tight in power.
The elder statesman said,
“The present dictatorship in the country wants to have the control of the government of those [oil producing]states after taking over the management of the oil and gas in those states.
“From what I saw, there was no election in some places; and two, before the election, any sensible man should have known what will be the result.
“Any sensible man would have known that when the intimidation, the muscling, the reorganisation and the threat to the judiciary took place, should have known where the country was going.
“You should have known that it was all in preparation for the election. So, even if Alhaji Atiku Abubakar had been declared winner, are you sure the incumbent would have agreed to step down?
“Did you not hear what the Chief of Army Staff said? That they have every duty to obey the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and President of Nigeria?
“Supposing the president was declared defeated, how are sure that the military will not back him to continue to stay in the office or the judiciary will not support him, when the judiciary has been so intimidated and terrorised and reorganised.
“So how else do you want me to assess the election? In your own assessment, did your vote count? Tell me, did your count?
“Now from what I read in the newspapers and what I see on the televisions about the military interfering with the elections in Rivers State, in Bayelsa State, Akwa Ibom State and Cross River State, shows the motive and the purpose of those presently in control of power in Nigeria.There can be no peaceful environment in Nigeria until justice is done
“The military is set up to defend Nigeria against foreign or external aggression, not to defend Nigeria against internal insurrection. Internal security is supposed to be taken care of by the Nigeria Police.
“The military, that is the Army, the Navy and the Air Force are established to defend the country against external threats to the sovereignty and security of Nigeria.
“Anybody who is using the military for any purpose other than to check external threats is committing illegality, and illegality at that level is treasonable.
“What is the business of the military in conducting election in Nigeria? The military has no business in conducting election in Nigeria; their interference in elections in Nigeria is a shame to the country and its leaders but the question is: who is ruling the country? Is it not a military man that is ruling the country?
“The man ruling the country now overthrew a democratic government in 1983 and took over the government until another military man overthrew him and took over the government.
“Then, he won election in 2015 and returned as a democratically elected President of the country; but what is the difference?
“The only difference is the dress he wears. In 1983, he wore khaki uniform; from 2015 to date he has been wearing agbada, but it is the same man inside the agbada and khaki.
“There is no change at all, but they want to subjugate Nigeria by military force. How long can they continue in this regard? I do not know, but it does not make for peace, it does not make for tranquility and development.
“They have done the election the way they did in other places in the past with military intimidation, harassment and killings but in these areas, the people are crying and saying you cannot control us by foisting a government we have no hand in its enthronement.
“They have taken the oil, they have taken its management and they want to take our government and they are resisting it.”