A leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has said President Muhammadu Buhari was ‘misinterpreted’ over his comment that thugs that snatch ballot boxes in the upcoming polls, will do so “at the expense” of their lives.
The president at the party’s caucus meeting on Monday, Mr Buhari said all those planning to snatch ballot boxes may be doing their last illegal acts.
The comment has generated a flurry of heated debates on social media, over its propriety.
The Electoral Act prescribes two years in jail, not death, for persons found guilty of snatching or destroying election materials.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Tinubu gave his opinion of what he thought Mr Buhari meant.
”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,” he said.
“It’s okay, emotions are running high these days. Any individual, including myself, can be misinterpreted.
“These (interpretation) are not his words. He is a law-abiding person and he understands categorically and clearly what rule of law is and the lives of individual citizens, that he is in that office to protect.”
He said no president will give an order that his own citizens be shot extra-judicially.
Speaking on INEC’s order that campaigns remain closed, he said ”by law they (APC) will continue to ‘energise’ their people because the electoral act allows that”.
“If you have a garden and you don’t nourish with water, the grass will remain dormant; we don’t want our party to remain dormant,” he said.
He was also asked if the postponed election will cast doubt on the credibility of INEC.
Mr Tinubu said this depends on how it (election) is handled and the process.
“How the process is managed; you can convert, in crisis, a situation of adversity to an opportunity and progress,” he said.