Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has urged the military and other security agencies in the country not to allow themselves to be used to intimidate voters before, during and after the general elections.
The governor made the call during a courtesy visit to him by the General Officer Commanding II Mechanised Division, Ibadan, Major General Sanusi Muazu, in Osogbo on Monday.
Aregbesola noted that the traditional role of the military was to protect the territorial integrity of the country and ensure an atmosphere where democracy must thrive.
The governor added that military and other security institutions must ensure that they were not used to harass civilians during the elections as it was done in Osun State 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 to harass and intimidate 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 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.”
Governor Aregbesola urged Major General Muazu and other security personnel not to tolerate any instruction or order that would compromise their professionalism during the forthcoming general elections. Speaking earlier, Muazu assured the governor that military would not intimidate or harass the electorate during the March and April elections.