“I am going to warn anybody who thinks, he has enough influence in his locality to lead a body of thugs to snatch boxes or to disturb the voting system that he would do it at the expense of his own life.”
These were the words of President Muhammadu Buhari at the emergency meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caucus in Abuja today, Monday, to review the postponement of the elections last week by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
President Buhari emphasized that he has ordered security agents to deal ruthlessly with party thugs that try to snatch ballot boxes, saying: “I do not expect anybody to make any disturbance. I have briefed the law enforcement agencies and the military to identify hot spots and flash points; they should be prepared to move. They too would have made their own arrangement as possible and resources provided as much as the country can afford it.
“And anybody who decides to snatch ballot boxes or lead thugs to disturb it (elections) , maybe that would be the last unlawful action he would take. I have directed the police and the military to be ruthless.
“We are not going to be blamed that we want to rig elections. I want Nigerians to be respected; let them vote whoever they want across the party. I’m not afraid …I have gone round all the 36 states and Abuja. I think I have gotten enough support across the country.”
Buhari expressed confidence in the support he and his ruling party had gathered across the country to ensure victory at polls at any time.
The President advised party agents to watch out for the party interests at the polling units in the Saturday rescheduled election, even as he directed security agencies to identify hot spots and be ready to move should they suspect any attempts to cause problems.
He insisted that there are no explanations for what the country went through in terms of the election postponement, adding: “I was told about the decision of INEC at quarter to 5am in the morning of the elections.
“INEC had all the time and resources, didn’t have to wait six hours to the elections to announced postponement.”Definitely, INEC must explain to Nigerians what happened, the constitution and the law protect INEC but they must not take us for granted.
“If we had failed to provide all what INEC wanted, then we would have been held responsible
“So at least, after the elections, we will have to go into details to find out what happened.”
Members of the Caucus observed a minute silence in honour of dead supporters at campaign venues across the country.
The meeting, which discussed prevailing national issues, following Saturday’s postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections was attended by members of the national working committee, governors, governorship candidates, ministers and other party and government functionaries.