With highest regard I have to retort back that the president of Nigeria has made an inciting comment on killing ballot snatchers.
The president has erred in his verdict on commanding security operatives to kill ballot box snatchers and people that cause any political fuss during election process.
The president gave the killing warning at APC caucus meeting in Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria said that any ballot box snatcher will do that “at the expense of his own life.”
The action of the president was not the first one that generated much concern and arguments among the citizens of Nigeria.
He was charged of an inciting comment during the 2011 general election campaign and some of his comments are harmful to even his supporters.
One of his comment that called for magnanimous attention, was the one in which he called the youths of Nigeria lazy.
The comment staged many debates among the youths of the country.
But at this time, Nigerians are amazed to hear such crucifying judgement from a leader that suppose to be an epitome of example in propagating peace and in making Nigeria great.
The laws of Nigeria and INEC do not have such culpable offences on the lives of Nigerians during election but rather provides imprisonment option.
Section 129 (4) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended)c provides that, “any person who snatches or destroys any election material commits an offence and is liable on conviction to 24 months imprisonment” and not to be killed.
Nigerians are marvel to hear to the directives of the president when perpetrators of many felony do not have murder punishment. while, human traffickers, armed robbers, kidnappers, corrupt people and killers have only imprisonment punishments.
The PDP party through its spokesman has accused the president and the APC party conniving a strategy to mar the coming election on their favour by instigating violence.
The PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji, Atiku Abubakar had also criticised the president’s warning as an act to cause violence in the country for his victory.
Nevertheless, the chieftain of the APC party, Bola Ahmed Tinibu had refuted the statement of the president, nagging that the president did not meant to kill but to arrest.
The comment of the president has now chilled tension in the minds of Nigerians and become panic for their lives.
Despite the fact Nigerian politicians are always advised to restrict to conditions and the laws of the land to avert any act tantamount to inflame the country. But, despite all efforts still our democracy has not matured as up to now politicians and clerics are still uttering slanderous comments not favourable for the country.
Many religious leaders have taken the forefront of campaigning for politicians base on divisive interest.
Their campaigns are derailing from the ethics of democracy as each sect is commanding and invoking curses for rejecting their offers.
President Muhammad Buhari shot at sight comment has done the damage but curtail the fear in the minds of Nigerians the president should be an honourable man and tender his apology to Nigerians for his slide of tongue and assure Nigerians of their safety during all the elections as the said statement had created voting apathy among Nigerians.
The people are timid not to be victims of sporadic bullets attack at the box snatchers which has been a culture during election. While, The opposition voters may be naive to go out to vote in areas that APC has strong holds.
And, some voters now will be afraid to go out and cast their votes for what the president has said and only him can cordon the situation with an apology.
Auwal Ahmed Ibrahim
The Secretary General Youths Salvation, Kaduna