The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress and former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, says he supports President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that any person involved in ballot box snatching during elections should be dealt with.
Tinubu, at a stakeholders’ meeting on Wednesday at the secretariat of the Lagos State chapter of the APC in Ogba, Lagos, explained that the party in Lagos and South-West was behind Buhari on the warning against box snatching and other electoral violence.
He said such was to protect the nation’s democracy from mischievous elements and enemies of democratic principles.
He said, “We all heard what President Buhari said on political thugs, ballot boxes snatching, violence. He is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Women, please warn your children and brothers not to cause any trouble as security agents will be ruthless against such act. It will do everyone good to obey than to disobey.
“I stand with President Muhammadu Buhari on his statement on ballot box snatching.
“Ballot box snatching is similar to robbery, and even worse, hence, it must be condemned in its entirety by everybody. We must not allow it. Anybody caught snatching ballot boxes must be ruthlessly dealt with.
“The decision was taken in our best interest to protect our nation’s democracy from being truncated by enemies of progress.
“Let your Permanent Voter Cards be your arms; we must go out and elect Buhari and our other APC candidates on Saturday, February 23 and subsequently, governorship candidates and state House of Assembly.
“If you (members) have any problem at all, go and see the leaders of the party in your council and wards.”
The APC National Leader also boasted that Buhari would win the poll on Saturday.
He said, “We (APC) will defeat Peoples Democratic Party. They don’t have our strength in the South-West and Middle Belt; so how are they going to defeat us? It is absolutely impossible.”
He said the party was at war with the PDP, expressing optimism that the APC would be victorious in the elections.
Tinubu stressed that the PDP had already been “defeated and buried”, a statement he expressed in Yoruba language, saying, Ati sin oku iya won.
However, he further enjoined the party leaders, members and the people to accommodate any defecting PDP members and from other parties.
Tinubu said the party was not fighting INEC, adding the commission should be pardoned for throwing the nation into confusion by the late postponement.
He said, “We have confidence in INEC to conduct free, fair and credible elections on Saturday and subsequent elections. There is no institution or country without its challenges.”
He also appealed to Igbo indigenes in Lagos to vote for the APC en masse as Lagos did not discriminate against any tribe in the state.
He said, “We do not discriminate when paying WAEC fees, NECO and even up to tertiary institutions. So this is a payback time for the APC.”