President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday warned that death awaits anybody who foments trouble during the rescheduled general election as he has ordered security operatives to be “ruthless.”
Nigeria’s commander-in-chief made this declaration while addressing a meeting of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Caucus in Abuja.
The Nigerian leader, visibly unhappy, was reacting to the postponement of Nigeria’s general election by the country’s electoral umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The National Chairman of the commission, Mahmood Yakubu, had on Saturday shocked many Nigerians by announcing at about 2:40 a.m., a few hours to the commencement of the polls, that the elections had been postponed over logistic problems.
According to Yakubu, the Presidential and National Assembly elections will now hold on Saturday, 23 February.
“I have briefed the law enforcement agencies and the military. They have identified the hot spots, flashpoints,” Buhari warned.
“They should be prepared to move. We have made as much arrangement as possible and resources provided as much as the country can afford.
“Anybody who decides to snatch ballot boxes or lead thugs to disturb it, maybe this is the last lawful action you will take.
“I really gave the military and the police (order) to be ruthless. We are not going to be blamed that we want to rig election. I want Nigerians to be respected. Let them vote whoever they want across the parties.”
Buhari, who is seeking reelection, also said: “I am going to warn anybody who thinks he has enough influence in his locality to lead a body of thugs or to disturb the voting system, he will do it at the expense of his own life.”
National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, had earlier called for reorganisation of the country’s electoral body.
Below is a video (courtesy Channels TV) of Buhari’s comments at the APC caucus meeting on Monday: