Kamarudeen Ogundele, Bauchi
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the military and law enforcement agencies to deal “ruthlessly” with anyone caught trying to disrupt the rescheduled February 23 presidential and National Assembly elections.
The President, who is seeking reelection on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, warned that anyone trying to snatch ballot boxes would do so “at the expense of his life.”
He added that he was not afraid of a free and fair election because he had received overwhelming support from the majority of Nigerians.
Speaking on Monday at the opening of the APC National Caucus Meeting in Abuja, Buhari said he wanted Nigerians to be respected everywhere after the election, warning that anyone caught for ballot box snatching or leading thugs would do so at a risk to his life.
He said, “I do not expect anybody to make any disturbance. I have briefed the law enforcement agencies and the military to identify hot spots, flash points and they should be prepared to move.
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“They, too, would have made their own arrangement as much as possible and as resources provide as much as the country can afford it.
“And anybody who decides to snatch ballot boxes or lead thugs to disturb it (election), 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 parties. I’m not afraid.
“As you said, I have gone round all the 36 states and Abuja. I think I have gotten enough support across the country.
“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, he would do it at the expense of his own life.”