President Muhammadu Buhari has, Tuesday, presided over a meeting with Nigeria’s security chiefs and the Governors of some states where there have been recent security challenges.
The service chiefs were at the meeting with the Governors of Kaduna, Borno and Adamawa states.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after the meeting, Gov. Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state said the death toll as a result of the communal clash in the Kajuru Local Government Area of the state had risen to 130 as against the previous figure of 66.
The governor had on Friday through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr Samuel Aruwan, disclosed that 66 people were killed by unknown attackers in Kajuru Local Government Area.
El-Rufai, who alongside the governors of Borno and Adamawa briefed members of the security committee on security situations in their respective states, frowned at those who questioned the initial casualty figures of 66.
Several individuals and organisations including the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) and Human Rights Lawyer, Chidi Odinkalu had expressed doubt over the occurrence of the killing of the 66 persons.
El-rufai said: “The last report we got is that over 130 people were killed not even 66 and the Fulani leaders have provided the names of all these people.
”We have the list, we can release it to the Press and I don’t want to be gross but we can release pictures of the people killed and how soldiers have to be there to help bury them, two days after they were killed because the bodies were decomposing.
”Whoever still doubts that this did not happen is being grossly irresponsible.’’
The Ag. Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, who also spoke to the Correspondents, said the police were ready to protect eligible Nigerians following resolution at the meeting that adequate security be provided within the country.
Adamu said: ”Today, members of the security community and intelligence community came and briefed Mr President on the security situation in the country.
“We deliberated on the consequences and came up with the resolve to further provide adequate security within the country so that the electorate will come out and cast their votes without any fear of molestation.
“Every Nigerian is encouraged to come out on the Election Day and cast his or her vote without any fear of molestation,” he said.
According to him, security personnel are ready and prepared to protect everybody.
He further warned that, “anybody that feels that he can come out and disrupt the process should have a rethink because that situation will not be allowed.
“If you plan and allow yourself to be used as touts, whatever happens to you, you will take it.
“Ballot snatching, ballot buying, thuggery will never be allowed, anybody that is planning to snatch ballot boxes or planning to be used as a tout, will have his or herself to blame on the Election Day. So you better don’t allow yourself to be used.”
Meanwhile, the Presidency has reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari’s comment that anyone who dares to snatch ballot boxes during next weekend’s elections will be doing this for the last time, saying it should be seen as a strong message against the long history of savagery associated with elections in the country.
Speaking to State House Correspondents on Monday, presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, recalled some past elections in parts of Nigeria, during which innocent voters lost their lives while ballot boxes were being snatched by armed thugs.
“Snatching ballot boxes often entails putting the lives of innocent Nigerians at risk. About 10 years ago, evidence was brought before an election tribunal from one of the states in North Central of the gruesome killing of 26 prospective voters by ballot box snatchers. Their modus operandi is well known. They storm election venues in commando style, overwhelm the law-enforcement agents and seize ballot boxes leaving a trail of death and injury,” Shehu said.
According to him, “Anyone who dares to put the lives of innocent citizens at risk in their desperation to rig elections, must be prepared for the possibility of losing their own lives because our security agents will certainly not stand by, clap for them and watch them kill and maim.”
He added that President Buhari had the safety and security of Nigerians uppermost in mind when he made the comment, and should be praised rather than criticised for issuing this stern warning to potential ballot box snatchers.
Shehu further expressed concern about those attacking the president’s comment, and their worry over the fate of anyone caught snatching ballot boxes.
“This sounds like members of the opposition, specifically the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP who have perfected plans to rig the elections and to snatch ballot boxes. They can tell that President Buhari is not prepared to tolerate their antics this time around, and they are afraid. They have shown their intent,” he said.
The presidential spokesperson noted that no one had anything to fear from the President’s comments if their conscience and intentions are clear.
“Let’s just have free and fair elections and no one need worry about anything,” he said.
Address by the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus on the occasion of the 84th National Executive Committee (NEC) Meeting of the Party at PDP National Headquarters, Wadata Plaza, Abuja, 19, February, 2019
It is with mixed feelings that I welcome you to the 84th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of our great party – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
My hope was that our next NEC meeting, this one in particular, was going to be an electoral victory celebration; but it hasn’t yet turned out the way we anticipate it to.
Nevertheless, our victory is delayed, it cannot be denied.
In reality some anti-democratic forces cropped up to delay our victory dance but surely it would come because Nigerians have resolved and are determined to throw away the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
So instead of victory celebrations, everyone will be briefed on recent developments in our polity, especially on the issues used as excuses to reschedule the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
In the course of preparing for this election we have had reasons to complain to the INEC and other critical stakeholders concerning developments we found injurious to a free, fair and credible elections.
The challenge that we now face is one of expectation. Those entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that the expression of the people’s will is made manifest, have time and again failed to demonstrate good faith. We expect better than we are getting,
A sick narrative has emerged, one of systemic and systematic rigging, manipulation of the true record of the voters register and a cabal you can no longer trust with the trajectory and growth of our democracy and Nation. This is the evidence of bad faith by those managing the election and the Government of the day:
- Systemic Manipulation of the Voters Register
It is clear that INEC did not in fact do a cleanup of the register of voters before it published it
- Abuse of PVC
The Voter’s register contains the data of dead voters.
Permanent Voters Cards for dead voters were printed and distributed nationwide. .
We have evidence that over 1,050,051 dead voters will vote in this election.
The idea of ghost voters is consistent with the nature of this virtual President.
- Registration of Foreigners as Voters
There has been a coordinated approach to register foreigners as voters, mainly from Niger and Cameroon.
That is why INEC has established so many polling Units along the border with Cameroon and Niger.
- Manipulation of Security Agencies
As we prepare for the general elections on Saturday, multiple intelligence sources available to us in PDP, show that All Progressives Congress, APC, in conjunction with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, through their ICT situation room have concluded plans to manipulate the outcome of Saturday’s election in the followings ways.
Before last Saturday’s botched election, the Presidential Campaign Council of our party had successfully conducted nationwide campaign.
But it is with great gratitude to God that I announce to you that the party conducted a hitch free campaign throughout the country. No violence or death was recorded throughout all our campaigns despite unprecedented turn out in our rallies.
Evidently, and from further feedback, I can with a sense of certainty state that Nigerians have resolved to return PDP to power, in 2019.
Overwhelmed by this reality, the ruling party, APC, decided to sabotage the Electoral body who had earlier played into their hands by allowing the cabals and other APC hawks to hijack the activities of the commission as contractors and consultants.
Beloved party leaders you may have been following the ranting of APC leaders since last Saturday, where they have been trying hard to extricate themselves from the mess that led to the postponement of the elections, but the more they try the more it became clearer that they were indeed a critical accomplice in the untidy outing of the electoral commission.
While the APC Director of Planning and Election monitoring, who is the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Barr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, and the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole struggled to turn the mess of last Saturday away from their party through their various utterances, they ended up exposing their involvement in a marriage that has gone sour. They still believe that they can deceive Nigerians into not recognizing crocodile tears from the real ones.
Buhari’s Shoot at Sight Directive.
You may have been shocked like many other Nigerians to find President Muhammadu Buhari who has been virtually off duty since the needless bloodletting in various states of the country particularly in Benue, Plateau, and Zamfara yesterday at APC’s caucus meeting in Abuja remembering that he is the Commander in Chief as he charged Nigeria’s military and Police to kill voters.
By that directive, ordering soldiers to kill our citizens without recourse to the law and with impunity, the President has unwittingly given license to APC leaders to carry military personnel on Saturday.
The agenda of that directive is clear, to scare away voters and agents, that we have directed to defend their votes, so as to give way to military protected political thugs, to come into the polling booths, and implement their result replacement strategy. .
Last Thursday, 48 hours to the rescheduled election, it is reported that the Director General of the Buhari Campaign Organization and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, entered Okirika in Okirika local Government Area of Rivers state with soldiers, and Nigerians and democracy watchers are wondering if this a new military strategy to rig . Bearing in mind that elections are civil matters, and that law enforcement agencies usually electoral related issues, one wonders why our President called for the military to get involved in our electoral process.
Additionally, the Presidents body language alongside that of his party hierarchy, at their caucus meeting, appeared remorseless for the damage done to our democracy or the huge private and public resources wasted by the inability of APC hawks acting as contractors and consultants to allow the commission to operate.
I can indeed make the conclusion, that from inception, President Buhari, was not ready for free and fair elections, otherwise he would easily have signed the amended Electoral Act, which would have enabled peaceful and hitch free elections in 2019.
President Buhari’s disregard of institutions of state, which started with the attempt of the Executive to hijack the Legislature, has continued unabated, with the illegal suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen, and the swearing in of an acting CJN.
Notable issues that must be addressed
- The deployment of military or paramilitary units to electoral duties as this is a civil activity, which the civilian police is best trained to handle;
- Assurances from the Federal Government that all communication assets – fixed and mobile – including the internet, be not compromised during the elections;
- Additionally, those visible steps including restricting movement and closure of our national borders with the Republics of Chad and Niger, in particular, are taken considering the unnerving presence of the Governors of the provinces of Zinder and Maradi, on January 31st, 2019, during the zonal rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano state.
Before I end this address, let me emphasize once again, that Nigerians are tired of President Buhari and the APC. Buhari why do you like blood? God, certainly, God will unseat you.
Besides, the PDP train is moving fast like running water. Therefore, we have enough impetus, from our teeming supporters across the country, to claim our deserved mandate.
A young supporter of our party who apparently is weighed down by hunger inflicted on the people by poor governance in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi state carried a placard at our rally with an inscription, “I will vote for Atiku even if it’s with my blood”.
That is the spirit of our members and supporters out there, and we have no choice but to provide them the needed leadership required to make Nigeria better.
PDP; Power to the People
Power to the People; PDP
God bless Nigeria
Prince Uche Secondus