Elections: Non-Involvement Of Military, A Welcome Development, Says Chizea

By Charles Emeni
A prominent Asaba indigene and retired Senior Manager with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Chief Chizea Onyeogali, (the Oshimili Atata of Ahaba) has described the non-involvement of the military in the conduct of March 28 presidential election as a welcome development and an indication that Nigeria democracy has come of age.
Chief Chizea who made his position on the issue known in an interview said, that the military was not allowed into the voting arena all over the country during the election was a clear testimony that President Goodluck Jonathan wanted a free and fair election. “We did not see soldiers who possibly may have intimidated voters at the polling centres, so people went about casting their vote freely. President Jonathan deserves to be commended for this,” he added.
He said, if in the past, soldiers were allowed into voting centres, it was because of the low level of our political awareness and development. But that has changed now, he said, adding, “Nigerians now know that their vote counts and they came out in their large numbers to vote and ensure that they stayed back to ensure that their vote was counted.
He commended the role played by the police during the election saying, “Prior to the election, there was anxiety, so many people were careful at the polling centres, and the policemen on duty were very civil”.,
He expressed happiness that cases of ballot box snatching and fighting that characterised elections in the past were greatly minimised adding that “if Nigerians could keep up such behaviour during elections, the future of democracy is bright in the country”.