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HOT NEWS: Ballot snatching Women react to Buharis order to soldiers as mothers

Ballot snatching Women react to Buharis order to soldiers as mothers

A women group, Unique Women Fellowship has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to rescind the directive he gave security agents to be ruthless in dealing with anyone who attempts to snatch ballot boxes on the days of elections.




Ballot snatching Women react to Buharis order to soldiers as mothers




A women group, Unique Women Fellowship has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to rescind the directive he gave security agents to be ruthless in dealing with anyone who attempts to snatch ballot boxes on the days of elections.

President of Unique Women Fellowship, Reverend Omowumi Popoola, while addressing journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, on Wednesday, declared that Buhari’s statement has left women in the country in a state of mixed emotions.

Popoola, while imploring Buhari to reconsider his statement, urged him to do what was necessary in ensuring safe, free and fair elections.

She said, “On Monday 18th February, President Muhammadu Buhari addressed the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caucus meeting at the APC National Secretariat. He stated that he had given the security agencies instructions to ensure free and fair elections in the country. He went on to say that anybody involved in ballot box snatching would pay for the crime with his life.

“As mothers, our initial reaction was to decide to sit at home on days of election, together with our children, so as to avoid falling victims of what looks like shoot at sight order of the President. But reviewing the situation, and considering the importance of this democratic exercise, we resolved to bring to the attention of the powers that be, of our concerns, in order to secure the assurance that it will be absolutely safe for people to go out to cast their votes.

“The President’s statement has left us in a state of mixed emotions. While we abhor and condemn electoral malpractices and any unlawful acts such as ballot box snatching and any form of hooliganism, and while we understand the need for Mr President to be firm in driving home his point, we are alarmed concerning the measures he is seeking to employ to enforce them. It is our belief that the President’s statement is extreme and we fear it may be a catalyst for police brutality on civilians come February 23rd, and throughout the election period.

“President Mohammed Buhari must realise that he sets the tone of the nation, and remains our leader, our voice, our Commander -In-Chief at all times in spite of any party affiliation. At a time, when tension is already high, an order coming from the nation’s President for security agencies to be ruthless further adds to the air of uncertainty and insecurity typical of Nigerian elections.

“Our main concern is that enforcement agencies who we already known to be trigger-happy now have an excuse to be over-zealous in the fulfilment of their roles during these elections. This might lead to situations that leave law abiding citizens caught in the cycle of violence.

“This manner of ensuring free and fair elections is likely to prove counter-productive. It is hard to imagine that these elections will be “free and fair” if the people begin to feel that going out to cast their votes could put them in harm’s way and become discouraged to do so. We want our votes to count, we want the results of these votes to remain untainted; but more importantly we want our safety to be of the utmost priority while we vote.

“We implore Mr President to reconsider his statements and the effect it may have, come Election Day. We demand that he does the necessary in ensuring SAFE, free and fair elections. We ask that he apologise to the citizens of this nation and let the electoral law be followed in dealing with election malpractices and rigging.

“In short, we agree that those found to be attempting to manipulate the elections results in any way should be arrested, charged, and dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the relevant electoral law and the criminal code.

“Armed personnel should not be encouraged to determine the fate of offenders and innocent civilians casting their votes. The safety of Nigerians should be of paramount importance at all times. The security agencies must work hand in hand with civilians to reduce any probability of violence. As women and mothers, we call for a participatory democratic transition that is free of the blood of our children.”




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