(By Silas Ofori)- Following agitations from political parties in Nigeria to continue their political campaigns, after the sudden rescheduling of the Presidential and National Assembly elections billed for Saturday, 16 February, 2019 by one week, the Independent National Electoral Commission has reconsidered its position and given its blessing.
A statement by INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of the commission’s Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, gave this indication, adding that the decision was taken after consultations with political parties, with the understanding that campaigns would end midnight of Thursday, 21st February 2019.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered security agencies to be ruthless with any one who attempts to snatch ballot boxes, and other trouble makers during the rescheduled elections on Saturday, 23 February, 2019.
Buhari gave the directive at a meeting of the All Progressives Congress in Abuja on Monday, while stressing the commitment of his administration to organise a free and fair election in Nigeria.
His words: “I have briefed the law enforcement agencies and the military. They have identified the hot spots, flashpoints.
“Anybody who decides to snatch ballot boxes or lead thugs to disturb it, maybe this is the last unlawful action you will take.
“I really gave the military and the police (order) to be ruthless. We are not going to be blamed that we want to rig election. I want Nigerians to be respected. Let them vote whoever they want across the parties.
“I am going to warn anybody who thinks he has enough influence in his locality to lead a body of thugs or to disturb the voting system, he will do it at the expense of his own life.”