Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, have faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to security agents to deal ruthlessly with anybody who snatches ballot boxes on election day.
Dogara, who is also Atiku’s technical adviser, noted that the president’s statement is an indication that the country’s democracy “has become the victim of a full blown dictatorship, when one considers that a democratically elected President would give a directive that is in clear violation of the laws of the land which by his oath of office he is to defend and protect.”
He also dismissed claims by the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, that that the PDP colluded with INEC to postpone last weekend, as “false, mischievous and inflammatory.”
On his part, Atiku said threatening people with death, in the context of the election, is incitement to electoral violence.
In a statement by an aide, Phrank Shaibu, Atiku said Buhari’s comment is an offence, going by the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).
“We were shocked to hear General Buhari, live, on national television, threatening to kill people for an offence where no such proscription exists under law.
“The last time we looked, the death-penalty was not a sanction of the 2010 Election Act. In fact, threatening people with death, in the context of an election, is incitement to electoral violence, which is an offence under that Act.
“Once again, General Buhari is showing his true colours and complete disregard for our Constitution and the laws of this country.”
Atiku warned against the use of the military for “mundane” matters, and added that “over-exposure of the military, in a democracy, has its inherent dangers.”
In a related development,
PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, said the president’s directive to security agencies is declaration of war on Nigerians.
Secondus, in a statement by his media aide, Ike Abonyi, said going by the directive, leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been empowered to move about with the military, at their respective constituencies.