By Modupe Gbadeyanka
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday warned those planning to frustrate the success of the 2019 general elections to have a second thought because his administration will not hesitate to ruthlessly deal with troublemakers.
Mr Buhari, while addressing chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja this afternoon, said his aim is to have the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conduct a free, fair and credible election under his government.
The President called on the electoral umpire to ensure it remains upright and not work to favour one party over the other.
He said anyone planning to snatch ballot boxes during the polls may have to pay with his life, warning that those nursing such to quickly have a rethink.
“I want Nigerians to be respected. Let them vote whoever they want across parties. I am not afraid.
“Like you said (referring to the APC National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole), I have been to the 36 states of the federation to canvass for votes from Nigerians.
”INEC must behave responsibly. The military and the police will be well mobilized to stamp out rigging and thuggery.
“I am going to warn anybody who thinks he has influence in his locality to lead a body of thugs to snatch ballot boxes or disrupt voting process, he will do it at the expense of his own life,” Mr Buhari declared at the APC Caucus meeting on Monday.
On Saturday, February 16, 2019, INEC announced that the presidential and National Assembly elections were no longer holding on that day. The electoral body shifted the polls to Saturday, February 23, 2019, while the governorship election was postponed to March 9 from March 2.
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