Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, has alleged that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah, has vowed to use soldiers and the equipment of the army to manipulate Saturday’s presidential elections in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate and President Goodluck Jonathan.
El-Rufai, who made the allegation in a statement he shared on his official Facebook and Twitter pages on Thursday, said he was “deeply worried by reports that the leaders of the security sector have jettisoned every appearance of impartiality for Saturday’s presidential election”.
In the nine-paragraph statement entitled, “Open letter to all Nigerians: It’s time to stand up for Nigeria”, the APC chieftain revealed that some army generals and security chiefs had vowed to protect Jonathan from defeat.
The allegations were made despite reassurances by security agencies that they remain neutral in the political affairs of the country.
But the former FCT Minister insisted that the army was acting like the armed wing of the ruling PDP.
Mr. El-Rufai warned that rigging the presidential election would wreck the economy and lead to anarchy and instability.
He said, “Chatter in informed circles has it that General Kenneth Minimah has sworn to use the soldiers and equipment of the army to promote President Jonathan’s cause. That is both improper and illegal.
“Minimah is certainly not alone in abandoning the sanctity of his oath. A slew of generals and security chiefs have clearly narrowed their duty to protecting Jonathan from defeat. Military commanders and police officers are sounding not merely like PDP partisans. They are acting like operatives of the armed wing of the PDP.
“They have paid little attention to the likely consequences of their actions. Interfering with the election, both in terms of process and the integrity of the result, is a sure recipe for disaster. That is a step that will certainly set the country on fire, and not just in ways we can all foresee”.
El-Rufai said Minimah was trying to be grateful to President Jonathan for appointing him as the Chief of Army Staff “ahead of 14 of his seniors”.
According to the APC candidate, while the constitution empowers the president to nominate or appoint senior officials to positions, it does not mean that such an appointee should behave like a lapdog or be incapable of functioning with integrity, professional dignity and respect for the law.
He added that the conduct and utterances of the PDP leadership does not inspire confidence that they are committed to a credible election.
El-Rufai, therefore, enjoined all military and security officers to stand up for the rule of law and the peace and unity of Nigeria by resisting all illegal orders to tamper with the election results.
The statement read, “President Goodluck Jonathan’s PDP government has no respect for the professionalism, dignity and integrity of the people in our military and security services. To anchor rigging plans on using the personnel and material assets of these services amounts to using the institutions that should protect and secure the country as wreckers.
“The lack of accountability for the Ekiti rigging fiasco, the absence of the redemptive possibility of remorse and the unwillingness to fully investigate and prosecute the key actors fill us with dread. When such baleful conduct goes unpunished, it can only mean that it is the default modus operandi of the perpetrators. And that is not the sort of behaviour that can produce a free, fair and credible election.
“This country has suffered enough. The people of this country stood up for the constitution to make Jonathan acting president against the machinations of the Yar’Adua cabal. Jonathan went ahead to fritter the good will, and he set a new marker for incompetence and for not giving a damn. The Constitution should not be subverted to illegally prolong the stay of a poor performer who only made it that far because the Constitution was upheld.
“Nigerians have realised that Jonathan simply does not care. He is not bothered about the welfare and security of Nigerians. All he is obsessed about is avoiding defeat. And he does not care if the country is sacrificed for him. Enough is enough”.