As the March 28 and April 11 general elections inch in, the Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has called on the military and other security agencies in the country not to allow themselves to be used in intimidating voters, before, during and after elections.
The governor gave this advice during a courtesy call on him by the General Officer Commanding II Mechanised Division, Ibadan, Major-General Sanusi Muazu at the Government House in Osogbo on Monday evening.
Aregbesola noted that the traditional role of the military is the protection of territorial integrity of the country and ensuring an atmosphere where democracy must thrive.
The governor added that military and other security institutions must ensure that were not used to harass civilians during the elections as it was done in Osun during the last August 9 governorship election.
He said, “It is a great misnomer and misuse of the military and tax payers’ resources for military and other security agents to be
deployed during elections as instruments in harassing and intimidating the citizens’ freedom and liberty, and bully them for partisan and selfish interest of gaining electoral advantage.
”During the last governorship election here, security agencies were unprofessionally utilised to harass, intimidate and oppress the people whose taxes were used to pay their salaries.
“Our victory is due to the steadfastness and resolute determination of our people to assert and defend their rights.
“Some security agents in connivance with the opposition obviously did all they could in a most desperate manner to steal the people’s mandate.
“Security agents wore the same identical hand band to carry out their acts but the popular wish of the people prevailed”. The governor told the G O C and his entourage.
He charged the G.O.C and other security personnel not to tolerate any instruction or order that will compromise their professionalism during the forth-coming general elections.
Speaking earlier, Major-General Muazu assured the governor that military will not, at all levels, not in any way intimidate or harass the electorate during the March and April elections.
He held that people under the coverage area which include Osun should sleep with their two eyes closed before, during and after the elections, noting that the military will provide the necessary support for other security agencies.
He said, “We Will erything possible to ensure that security is provided. we cannot do otherwise than to protect civilians. It is the taxpayers money that we depend on. We will do everything to make sure that lives and property are well protected.
“It is a familiar terrain that we are in, I have served in the region in various capacities, I can as well charge the people of Osun to sleep with their two eyes closed because the election will be free, fair and credible with the provision of adequate security”. he stressed.