SAHARANEWS – All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday cautioned against misinterpreting President Muhammadu Buhari’s remarks on ballot box snatchers.
Asiwaju Tinubu said the President never ordered security agencies to shoot Nigerians summarily.
The President was quoted as saying that ballot box snatchers would not live to tell their stories once caught in the act.
Buhari spoke at the APC’s emergency National Caucus meeting in Abuja yesterday.
Tinubu told reporters after the meeting that the President was misinterpreted.
He said Buhari only reinforced his stand that ballot box snatcher will be doing so at the risk of their lives.
Tinubu said: “I was in that meeting; the President was just reinforcing the fact that if you are out there snatching ballot boxes and causing destruction, you are at risk of your own life.
“Whatever happens to you; no president will give an order that his own citizens should be shot summarily. No! No! It’s okay; emotions are running high these days. Any individual, including myself, can be misinterpreted.
“These are not his words; he is a law-abiding person and he understands categorically and clearly what the rule of law is and the lives of individual citizens that he is in that office to protect.
“Now, let me run this… he has been fighting Boko Haram insurgents, kidnappers and all these before this election. Did you ever hear him asking them to be shot and executed summarily?
“If he has gone through that in the last five years, please give the benefit of the doubt. By law, we should continue to energise our people; it depends on our resources. Because the Electoral Act allows us to continue to campaign and asks us to stop campaigning only 24 hours before the actual election; and once INEC changed the election date to February 23, it has given us the opening to campaign and energise our people. If you have a garden and you don’t nourish it with water, the grass will remain dormant. We don’t want our party to remain dormant.
“This is ability of leadership to convert adversity to opportunity and prosperity and that’s it; that’s what we must do.”
On whether the shift of the poll will affect INEC’s credibility, Tinubu said: “It depends on how it is handled and the new process; how the process is managed. You can convert what appears a crisis, a situation of adversity, to an opportunity and progress.
“The INEC, under the law, is empowered to postpone, cancel and do whatever is necessary to ensure free and fair election. No party other INEC has this power. We can express our anger and disappointment, but no party can reverse what has been done. So, we are ready for February 23.