The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah has urged the Federal Government to proceed with caution in his plans to involve the military in the forthcoming general elections. He spoke while fielding questions from journalists at the Catholic Secretariat Forum, tagged: “Democracy In Nigeria, So Near So Far”, in Abuja.
Kukah did not condemn the use of the military for elections, but he warned the government against using it to intimidate the opposition or the electorate.
“About the deployment of the military, frankly, I am not competent to make this comment, but I think we also need to be very fair.
“I remember very well that the election in Edo State, even Adams Oshiomhole himself commended our soldiers. The election in Ekiti State, we are hearing different stories now, but I don’t think that my friend Kayode (Fayemi) and others carried placards against the presence of the military.
“The military, in my understanding, are not there to conduct the election; there will be their involvement at different levels. What is more important is that how do you ensure that the army does not become a platform for intimidation? It is like a knife, you can use it to peel your yam or kill,” he said.
Speaking on the current political situation in the country, Bishop Kukah wondered what people saw in the APC presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, that they did not see in 2007 and 2011 that was now giving some people sleepless night.
“Why are we nervous now?” he asked, saying these were signs Nigeria was getting closer to political maturity.
The cleric maintained that the lack of preparation makes the country to move in a circle, adding that to build a democracy that will benefit all and sundry, people had to play their roles.