ABUJA. – Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari has expressed stern misgivings about how presidential polls slated for last Saturday were postponed by the election bodyINEC.
Speaking at a ruling party National caucus meeting in the capital Abuja on Monday,President Buhari called for a probe into the week-long delay after the elections.
“They did not have to wait for only hours to cancel the vote. I don’t know how that is even possible. Definitely, the reasons why such incompetence manifests itself has to be explained to the nation. After the election, we have to know exactly what happened and who is responsible.’‘
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.
The election body announced a postponement of the vote citing the delays in transporting relevant materials to parts of the country. Places that had been served with the materials were to return them to the central bank following which an audit was to be done on them,INEC said.
President Buhari however, stressed on the need for voters to turn up on the new date (February 23) to cast their ballots: “We have to tell our constituencies that they have to be patient and must react in a very responsible way, by going peacefully to vote again.”
On the subject of security, he warned that security agencies were on top of the situation and were ready to act to protect the peace and the integrity of the ballot.
“I do not expect anybody to make any disturbance. I have briefed the law enforcement agencies and the military, they have identified hot spots, flash points, they should be prepared to move. I really gave the military and police orders to be ruthless… Anybody who thinks he has enough influence in his locality to lead a body of thugs to snatch ballot boxes or disturbs the voting system, will do so at the expense of his own life.
“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,” President Buhari further stated.
Meanwhile, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP on Monday, detected fault in President Buhari’s statement at the All Progressives Congress, APC caucus meeting.
Reacting to President Buhari, the PDP through its National Publicity Secretary and Director, Media and Publicity argued that the president and his party “are out to truncate democracy”. – Africa News/Vanguard News Nigeria