President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday, warned political thugs who are bent on snatching ballot boxes on election day, February 23, to stay away or face the wrath of law.
At an emergency caucus meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja on Monday morning, the President warned that anyone who foments trouble, especially by carrying ballot boxes, would be doing so at the “expense of his life”.
Buhari made the statement after reprimanding the Independent National Electoral Commission for postponing the general elections from February 16 to 23.
The President repeated that he gave INEC all necessary support to ensure a smooth exercise, but the electoral body still displayed “incompetence” and failed to let Nigerians go to the poll as originally scheduled.
Electoral chiefs cited widespread logistics mishaps for the “painful” postponement, and promised everything would be in order before the new date of February 23 for presidential and federal parliamentary elections. Statewide elections would now hold on March 9, from the initial March 2.
Buhari also threatened consequences against INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu, agreeing with the submission of party Chairman Adams Oshiomhole that the electoral chief had compromised and was in purported collusion with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, Oshiomhole requested that INEC reshuffle some of its senior officials.
Oshiomhole stated this at a caucus meeting of the APC in Abuja.
The meeting was attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, 11 APC governors, and other party leaders.
shiomhole accused some INEC State Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) of working with the PDP.
He particularly mentioned the REC in Akwa Ibom, Mike Igini, a revered activist in Nigeria.
Oshiomhole likened his request that INEC should be reshuffled to a team in a football match complaining about the bias of a potential referee. He said match officials have a responsibility to change such referee.
Oshiomhole also accused INEC of leaking its plan to postpone last Saturday’s presidential elections to the PDP.
He also said the APC wants elections to hold across Nigeria at the same time.
“We do not want staggered elections,” the party Chairman said.