President Muhammadu Buhari has promised never to use power to rig February 23 Presidential Election and anyone who want to is at the expense of his life.
The President made this known at an emergency National Caucus Meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja on Monday morning.
“I will never use my powers to rig election. I don’t need to. I won’t disrepect Nigerians. We want a process that will allow Nigerians to choose freely. I have gone round the country, with what I saw, I have no reason to rig. INEC must behave responsibly and realize that they’re not the only stakeholders, the military and the police will be well mobilized to stamp out rigging and thuggery, any state or group of people who think they can disrupt this process will do so at the risk of their own lives…” He said.
The President however, warned anyone who foments trouble, especially by carrying ballot boxes, would be doing so at his expenses.
He repeated that he gave INEC all necessary support to ensure a smooth exercise, but the electoral body still displayed “incompetence” and failed to let Nigerians go to the poll as originally scheduled.
Electoral chiefs cited widespread logistics mishaps for the “painful” postponement, and promised everything would be in order before the new date of February 23 for presidential and federal parliamentary elections. Statewide elections would now hold on March 9, from the initial March 2.
Mr President also threatened consequences against INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu, agreeing with the submission of party Chairman Adams Oshiomhole that the electoral chief had compromised and was in purported collusion with the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The National Caucus Meeting, which was initially televised for about 30 minutes, was cut off live broadcast after the President’s remarks.
Journalists were also asked to leave the venue to allow for a closed-door session within the party Caucus.