The Bayelsa State Elders Forum has cautioned the Nigerian Army to abstain from partisan politics and remain apolitical during next Saturday's house I assembly election in the state.
Rising from an enlarged meeting held in Yenagoa, the state capital, the elders alleged that military men were negatively involved in the last presidential and national assembly elections held on Saturday.
They expressed concern over the role some security personnel played during the last elections which, according to the elders, sparked violence in some communities in the state such as Agbere in Sagbama, Nembe Basambiri and some parts of southern Ijaw.
Speaking through its state chairman, Chief Francis Doukpola, the elders called on the federal government and the international community to prevail on the military to steer clear of the next Saturday's elections.
The elders lamented that the military that were to synergize with other security agencies to protect the electorates during polls, allowed themselves to be used by politicians to snatch ballot boxes and to aid election rigging in the state.
They stressed that "a situation where security agencies drafted to maintain law and order connive with a political party to disenfranchise the electorate portends grave danger to democracy and the peaceful coexistence of the people".
The group further noted that though the elders forum was apolitical, it would not fold its hands and watch political actors to destroy the prevailing peace and stability in the name of elections.