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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Dogara raises concern over Buhari’s comment on ‘ballot box snatching’

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has described the statement by President Muhammadu Buhari, directing security agents to “deal ruthlessly with those who attempt to snatch ballot boxes or disrupt the electoral process on Saturday,” as a call for extra-judicial killing.
Dogara who stated this while briefing journalists at the PDP Presidential Campaign Council office in Abuja on Monday, said such comment was an indication that Nigeria’s democracy had become a full-blown dictatorship.
He said: “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 coopted into the conduct of the election despite the fact that they have no constitutional role in our electoral process.”
The speaker also condemned the comments of the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, at the caucus meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja on Monday, where he alleged that the PDP colluded with INEC to postpone the elections.
According to the APC National Chairman, the PDP was given prior notice of the postponement of the elections.
However, the House Speaker described APC National Chairman’s comment as mischievous and inflammatory.
“It should be noted that 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.
“We also strongly condemn Mr. Oshiomole’s false, mischievous and inflammatory claims against our party, when he said INEC colluded with PDP to abort last week’s elections. This is a very surprising statement considering the fact that the Federal government controls every institution and agency involved in the electoral process, including the CBN, Nigerian Airforce, Aviation authorities amongst others.
“Embarrassingly, this is the first time that we have witnessed a ruling party play victim, which is a clear indication that they have lost the plot. Evidently, their recent actions and statements clearly show they are panicking and desperate to cling onto power, even when the people have rejected them
“From our position, we strongly believe that the deliberate delivery of election materials to the wrong electoral centers, cancellation of flights, and other actions that undermined the logistics arrangement of INEC were deliberately done to sabotage and manipulate the process.
“Obviously, we know they are doing everything humanly possible to discredit INEC, remove the chairman and stall the process conscious of the fact that they cannot win this election,” stated.
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