Snatch ballot boxes at expense of your life, Buhari warns voters

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President Muhammadu Buhari has warned potential troublemakers to stay away from ballot boxes on February 23 during the Presidential and National Assembly elections or pay with their lives.

At an emergency caucus meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja on Monday, part of which was televised live, President Buhari warned that anyone who foments trouble, especially by snatching ballot boxes, would be doing so at the “expense of his life”.

The President made the statement after reprimanding the Independent National Electoral Commission for postponing the general elections from February 16 to 23.

He said he had given the police and army the marching order to deal ruthlessly with anyone who snatch ballot boxes during the rescheduled election on February 23, 2019.

President Buhari reiterated 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.

He said after the election, the electoral body would have to explain the real causes of the postponement and that any person fond culpable would be dealt with for incompetence.

Buhari also threatened consequences against INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, agreeing with the submission of the APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole that the electoral chief had compromised and was in purported collusion with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

While announcing the postponement early last Saturday, the INEC chairman had 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.

Due to the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections, statewide elections would now hold on Saturday March 9.

The national caucus meeting, which was initially televised for about 30 minutes, was cut off live broadcast after the president’s remarks. Journalists were also asked to leave the venue to allow for a closed-door session.

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