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Politicians, human rights activists, lawyers and prominent Nigerians on Monday attacked President Muhammadu Buhari for declaring that death awaited ballot box snatchers during the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Punch reports that President Buhari had early on Monday while speaking at a national caucus meeting of the All Progressives Congress in Abuja, said ballot box snatchers would pay with their lives as security agencies had been given the go ahead to be ruthless with them.
The statement credited to the president has however generated outrage by well-meaning Nigerians.
Read below some reactions as compiled by the Punch Newspaper.

Buhari inciting military, police against Nigerians – Secondus

However, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus, has said President Buhari in his alleged desperation to cling on to power has given marching orders to the military and the police to help leaders of the APC to oppress voters.

President’s statement, most callous ever, says CUPP

Also, the Coalition of United Political Parties has asked Nigerians and the international community to hold the President responsible for any loss of lives during the elections.

It said the President’s statement was the most callous public statement ever made by a Nigerian President.

He said, “The President was unambiguous in his call that citizens should be shot dead extrajudicially if they ever tried to snatch ballot boxes during the elections.

It’s a call for extrajudicial killings – Dogara, civil rights groups

Also, some civil rights groups and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, have described Buhari’s order as a call for extrajudicial killings.

CDHR, CD say Buhari’s order, unconstitutional

Also, two civil society organisations, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights and Campaign for Democracy, berated the President, saying such a call was outside the provisions of the constitution and the electoral laws.

The CDHR National President, Malachy Ugwummadu, said, “The President is supposed to be the one who upholds the law and not to abrogate it. The call on the military and the police to shoot ballot boxes snatchers is not only unconstitutional but also usurping the roles of the judiciary which is the arm of government empowered to interpret the law.

Don’t kill electoral offenders, Falana tells security agents

Speaking in the same vein, a human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), urged security agents “not to risk their own lives by engaging in extrajudicial killing of ballot snatchers and other electoral offenders.”

SAN berates Buhari, says his directive illegal

But a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Sebastine Hon, said Buhari’s directive to the military was “clearly unconstitutional.”

He said, “The President’s comment is clearly unconstitutional. Section 33(1) of the Constitution guarantees the right to life. So, life can only be terminated in accordance with due process of law.

President’s order, scary, ominous- Atiku’s friends

However, the Coordinator of Friends of Atiku Professionals, Moses Jolayemi, called on the international community to be prepared to rescue Nigeria from an impending mayhem being allegedly instigated by Buhari.

Jolayemi said, “This, to say the least, is scary and ominous of what the President and the APC plan to unleash on the Nigerian electorate if they are unable to pull through with their plans to rig the elections.

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