Retract your statement on ballot box snatching, CISLAC tells Buhari

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre has said the order of President Muhammadu Buhari to security agencies on ballot snatching has the potential of emboldening trigger- happy security agents to take the law into their own hands .

CISLAC Executive Director , Auwal Ibrahim Musa , who expressed concerns about what he described as ‘ potential execution order’ from the President , urged him to retract it in the interest of sanctity of human lives and democratic growth .

Buhari had, at the caucus meeting of the All Progressives Congress in Abuja on Monday , said security agencies had been given the go – ahead to “ deal ruthlessly ” with ballot snatchers .

The President warned that anyone who engages in ballot box snatching during the rescheduled elections does so “ at his own personal expense . ”

Musa said in a statement made available to journalists in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday that, “ It is imperative for the President to immediately retract , withdraw and apologise to Nigerians for such statement .

“ We are concerned that the order , if not retracted , has the potential of breeding extra -judicial killings , civil disobedience or disrupt law and order and gross killing of innocent Nigerians who would be taking part in the rescheduled February 23rd , 2019 polls .

“ While we work to uphold democracy and good governance in the country, we are at liberty to remind the President that the primary purpose of government is to promote , protect and secure human rights and fundamental freedom as contained in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action .

“ We must reiterate the importance of Right to Life as a fundamental part of human rights. Citizens must be alive to pursue its justiciability .

“ We are not unaware that Section 128 of the Electoral Act states that ‘ Any person who at an election acts or incites others to act in a disorderly manner commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of N 500 , 000 . 00 or imprisonment for a term of 12 months or both;’ and specifically states that anyone who destroys , or snatches election material is liable to imprisonment for 24 months .

“ Nowhere is capital punishment prescribed as a penalty for any electoral offence in Nigeria.

“With the elections having been postponed by a week , to allow the Independent Electoral Commission to sort out logistics and other issues it claimed made them not go ahead with the elections as scheduled for February 16 , 2019 , we expect nothing but statesman – like attitude from the President , with sincere commitment to ensure the process is free , fair , credible and non- violent .

“ CISLAC , therefore , calls on security agencies to respect the rule of law and not take laws into their hands as they will take responsibility for any action.

“ Every known law in our democratic norms does not permit the armed forces anywhere near the parameters of the polling units/ points.

“ In fact , armed bearing police officers are not allowed anywhere close to the poll, ” he stated .

215 thoughts on “Retract your statement on ballot box snatching, CISLAC tells Buhari

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