The Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari has called on the police and the army to be “merciless” with the electoral fraudsters and to those who want to rig the poll next Saturday.
“We will not be held responsible (…) instead of those who decide to steal ballot boxes or use criminals to disrupt the poll,” said the head of state, Muhammadu Buhari.
The president, a candidate for a second term, issued the warning during a meeting with activists from his party, APC.
The main opposition party, the PDP, which has invested candidate Atiku Abubakar, immediately accused him of “threats.”
“It’s an open call for people to do justice to themselves,” said Kola Ologbondiyan, his spokesperson.
“We know that President Buhari, who has already boasted of being indestructible, can use dictatorial and tyrannical means to prevent the conduct of free and transparent elections,” he said in a statement.
Some regretted Buhari’s “merciless” remarks, but others encouraged the firmness of the head of state.
The Nigerian Electoral Commission postponed the general elections – presidential, legislative and senatorial – from February 16th to 23rd.
He cited serious logistical problems in announcing the postponement of the poll just a few hours before the opening of the polls last Saturday.
This is not the first time an election has been postponed to Nigeria. In 2011, the general election was delayed twice.
The electoral commission had invoked an “emergency situation”, with many offices without electoral material.
In 2015, President Goodluck Jonathan’s government also postponed the six-week poll, citing security concerns in the northeastern part of the country.