The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s threat to ballot box snatchers as a call for “extra-judicial killings”.
Buhari, at a meeting of APC leaders in Abuja on Monday, warned that anyone planning to snatch ballot boxes or rig the forthcoming elections will do so at the expense of his own life.
Reacting, Dogara stressed that the nation’s extant laws were enough to deal with electoral offenders.
The Speaker disclosed this when he addressed a press conference at the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential Campaign Office, Maitama, Abuja on Monday.
He said, “We categorically deny these false claims and unnecessary blackmail and regard the President’s statement as a call for extra-judicial killings considering the fact that there are adequate provisions in our laws to address electoral offenses.
“These statements clearly indicate that our democracy has become the victim of a full blown dictatorship, when one considers that a democratically elected President would give a directive that is in clear violation of the laws of the land which by his oath of office he is to defend and protect.
“In view of this statement by the President, it is obvious that the military has been given a central role and co-opted into the conduct of the election despite the fact that they have no constitutional role in our electoral process.”
Speaking on the postponement of the elections, Dogara said: “our party chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, was the first to call for an inquiry into why the elections were postponed last Saturday. In reality, we support a genuine and transparent probe into why the Presidential and National Assembly elections could not hold.
“We also hope that the President’s inflammatory statement is not a threat aimed at intimidating the electoral commission. Dogara also had some words for the APC chairman, whom he tasked to reflect on his allegation against the PDP.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, postponed the February 16 Presidential and National Assembly elections to February 23 and March 9th respectively because of logistics.