National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has said President Muhammadu Buhari was ‘misinterpreted’ over his comments on what awaits those who intend to snatch ballot boxes in the forthcoming elections.
President Buhari at the party’s caucus meeting on Monday, said all those planning to snatch ballot boxes may be doing so at the expense of their lives.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Tinubu said the President’s statement which garnered a lot of reactions, might have been taken out of context.
Tinubu said “The president was just reinforcing the fact that if you are out there snatching ballot boxes, and causing destruction, you are at risk of your own life.”
“It’s okay, emotions are running high these days. Any individual, including myself, can be misinterpreted,” Tinubu added
“These (interpretation) are not his words. He is a law-abiding person and he understands categorically and clearly what rule of law is and the lives of individual citizens, that he is in that office to protect.”
He said no president will give an order that his own citizens be shot extra-judicially.
The Co-Chair of the APC’s Presidential Campaign Council, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, spoke with journalists at the party’s secretariat in Abuja, here are some other major topics he spoke about
On Election Postponement…
“By law we should continue to energise our people. It depends on our resources. Because the Electoral Act allows us to continue to campaign and ask us to stop campaigning only 24 hours before the actual election. And once INEC changed the election date to Feb. 23, they have given us the opening to campaign and energise our people. If you have a garden and you don’t nourish it with water, the grass will remain dormant. We don’t want our party to remain dormant.
“This is ability of leadership to convert adversity to opportunity and prosperity and that’s it; that’s what we must do.
On Whether Poll Postponement Will Affect Credibility Of INEC…
“It depends on how it is handled and the new process. How the process is managed? You can convert what appears a crisis, a situation of adversity to an opportunity and progress
The INEC, under the law, is empowered to postpone, cancel and do whatever is necessary to ensure free and fair election.No party other INEC has this power. We can express our anger and disappointment, but no party can reverse what has been done. So, we are ready for Feb. 23.
On President Buhari’s Statement That Those Planning To Rig…
“I was in that meeting; the president was just reinforcing the fact that if you you are out there snatching ballot boxes, and causing destruction, you are at risk of your own life.
“Whatever happens to you, no president will give an order that his own citizens be shot summarily, No! No, its okay, emotions are running high these days. Any individual including myself can be misinterpreted.
“Shoot on sight are not his words; he is a law-abiding person and he understands categorically and clearly what the rule of law is and the lives of individual citizens, he knows that he is in that office to protect.
“Now, let me say this: he has been fighting Boko Haram, kidnappers and all that before this election, did you hear him asking them to be shot and executed summarily?
“If he has gone through that in the last five years, please give him the benefit of the doubt”.
President Buhari’s comments at the APC caucus meeting stirred heated arguments across the country, with many raising concerns that it might encourage violence and jungle justice in the coming polls.
According to Nigeria’s electoral act, the snatching of ballot boxes and destruction of electoral materials leads to a 24-months jail term, not a death sentence.