Romanus Ugwu and Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that political thugs who attempt to snatch ballot boxes during the elections would be doing so at the risk of their lives.
The President gave the warning Monday at the opening of All Progressives Congress (APC) National Caucus emergency meeting at the party secretariat in Abuja.
The President, who said he was confident of the support he had garnered having campaign in the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory, said the security agencies have been mandated to identify security hotspots, and warned that political influencers who decide to use thugs to disrupt the elections or snatch ballots will be dealt with ruthlessly.
Speaking at the meeting, the President stated:
“I do not expect anybody to make any disturbance. I have briefed the law enforcemnt agencies and the military to identify hotspots, flash points, [and] they should be prepared to move. They too would have made their own arrangement as possible as resources have been 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 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.”