PDP loudest defender of ballot-box snatchers: Presidential aide

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A Presidential aide has wondered why the Peoples Democratic Party has been the loudest in attacking President Muhammadu Buhari’s warning to potential ballot-box snatchers.

“This sounds like members of the opposition, specifically the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP have perfected plans to rig the elections and to snatch ballot boxes. They can tell that President Buhari is not prepared to tolerate their antics this time around, and they are afraid. They have shown their intent,” Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant on media said.

He said people who do not plot any evil on election have nothing to fear from the President’s comments if their conscience and intentions are clear.

“Let’s just have free and fair elections and no one need worry about anything,” he said.

Shehu said Buhari’s warning to snatchers of ballot boxes in next weekend’s elections should be taken as a strong message against the long history of savagery associated with elections in the country.

He recalled some past elections in parts of Nigeria, during which innocent voters died while ballot boxes were being snatched by armed thugs.

“Snatching ballot boxes often entails putting the lives of innocent Nigerians at risk. About 10 years ago, evidence was brought before an election tribunal from one of the states in North Central of the gruesome killing of 26 prospective voters by ballot box snatchers. Their modus operandi is well known. They storm election venues in commando style, overwhelm the law-enforcement agents and seize ballot boxes leaving a trail of death and injury,” Shehu said.

“Anyone who dares to put the lives of innocent citizens at risk in their desperation to rig elections, must be prepared for the possibility of losing their own lives because our security agents will certainly not stand by, clap for them and watch them kill and maim.”

He added that President Buhari has the safety and security of Nigerians uppermost in mind when he made the comment, and should be praised rather than criticised for issuing this stern warning to potential ballot box snatchers.

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