Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday issued a stern warning to “those bent on destroying the country through promoting insurrection, and burning down critical national assets: a rude shock awaits them, and very soon too.”
The President spoke after he received briefing from Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, on series of attacks on facilities of the electoral body round the country.
“I receive daily security reports on the attacks, and it is very clear that those behind them want this administration to fail,” President Buhari said. “Insecurity in Nigeria is now mentioned all over the world. All the people who want power, whoever they are, you wonder what they really want. Whoever wants the destruction of the system will soon have the shock of their lives. We’ve given them enough time.”
President Buhari recalled that he visited all the 36 states of the country before the 2019 election, “and majority of the people believed me, and the election proved it.” He promised to continue leading the country in accordance with Constitutional provisions.
He said those misbehaving in certain parts of the country were obviously too young to know the travails and loss of lives that attended the Nigerian Civil War. “Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand. We are going to be very hard sooner than later.”
The President said the Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police have been changed, “and we will demand security from them.”
On the dangers posed to future elections by the burning of INEC facilities, President Buhari said he would give the electoral commission all it needed to operate, “so that no one would say we don’t want to go, or that we want a third term. There will be no excuse for failure. We’ll meet all INEC’s demands.”
In his briefing, Prof Yakubu said that so far, there have been 42 cases of attacks on INEC offices nationwide, since the last General Election.
“The 42 incidents so far occurred in 14 states of the Federation for a variety of reasons….Most of the attacks happened in the last seven months, and they are unrelated to protest against previous elections. From the pattern and frequency of the most recent attacks, they appear to be targeted at future elections. The intention is to incapacitate the Commission, undermine the nation’s democracy and precipitate a national crisis,” Prof Yakubu said.