- President Muhammadu Buhari's recent comment on electoral practices continues to generate reactions nationwide
- The president had warned that anyone who attempted to snat*ch ballot boxes during the polls would pay with his life
- The presidential candidate of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), Dr. Onwubuya John Breakforth, has urged the president to clarify the statement
The presidential candidate of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), Dr. Onwubuya John Breakforth, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to clarify his recent statement on electoral practices.
Breakforth specifically wants the president to deliver a nationwide address to Nigerians, especially to tell security agencies that he did not instruct them to kill Nigerians extra-judicially.
The president had warned that anyone who attempted to snat*ch ballot boxes during the polls would pay with his life, a comment many feared would be misinterpreted by the security agencies.
The president's clarification, he said, would prevent voters apathy, stressing that Buhari's comment could be misinterpreted by some overzealous security agents to harm innocent citizens.
He also lament that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and President Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who are the two leading candidates have been engrossed in accusations and counter accusations, stating that the nation was not at war.
“We condemn the persistence trade of words between APC and PDP, accusations and counter accusations. Nobody should throw this country into war zone because of his political ambition,” he said.
He said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is ready to give Nigerians the best of democratic experience and should be supported to achieve that.
Onwubuya who absolved INEC of wrong doing over last week’s election postponement, said the postponement happened in the interest of the nation, as INEC was confronted with huge challenge of fielding over 3,000 candidates at once.
“INEC postponed election last week in the interest of the country. This is the first time, INEC is fielding over 3,000 candidates and one could imagine the challenge.
More so, INEC postponed the election due to sabotage by some government agencies responsible for movement of sensitive materials,” Onwubuya said.
He expressed optimism that the presidential polls would be free and fair, adding that the umpire was well prepared, even as he urged INEC to ensure that all the likely lapses are addressed.
On his party's preparations for the polls, he said: “FJP is fully in the race for all elective offices across the country. Our FCT senatorial candidate, Archbishop Prof. Leonard Bature Kawas has not step down for any body and are fully in the race to win FCT senatorial seat and give new face to FCT residents. We urge all FCT residence and indeed all Nigerians to vote for the ‘HORN’ party at all levels.”
Meanwhile, Senator Shehu Sani has raised concerns that President Buhari’s statements on what will befall ‘snatchers of ballot boxes’ can encourage lawless persons to engage in jungle justice.
Sani, the lawmaker representing Kaduna Central senatorial district, said those who sna*ch ballot boxes should rather be arrested and prosecuted to avoid jungle justice.
The lawmaker wrote on Twitter: “Those who attempt to sna*ch or snatched ballot boxes should be arrested and brought to book; this is a better expression to avoid jungle justice or licence for disorder by thugs who may take the law into their hands.”