By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The acting Inspector General of Police (IG) Mohammed Adamu Tuesday in Abuja, echoed President Muhammadu Buhari, threatening that anyone who engages in ballot box snatching during Saturday’s poll will face the music.
Adamu, who issued the threat while briefing journalists after a meeting of service chiefs, including the IG with Buhari in the State House, said the heads of security agencies met with the president, reviewed the security situation in the country and resolved to ensure adequate security during the polls.
According to him, thuggery, touting and ballot box snatching during the polls will be met with grave resistance.
By his declaration, the IG was only echoing Buhari who at the national caucus’ meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the party secretariat in Abuja on Monday, said he had ordered the security agents to deal ruthlessly with anyone who snatches ballot boxes or attempts to undermine the integrity of the polls even at the cost of his own life.
Buhari also said any politician portraying himself to be popular in his domain and hence hoping to exploit such popularity to hire thugs to snatch ballot boxes during the elections, will do so at the expense of his own life.
The president’s comment has however been condemned by many, who reminded him that the punishment for ballot box snatching is imprisonment for a period of time and not instant death as threatened by the president.
But the IG restated the president’s threat, insisting that whoever engages in any criminal act on election day should be prepared to bear the consequence.
However, Adamu encourages law abiding citizens to freely go out on Saturday and cast their votes without any fear of molestation.
He assured citizens that security agents will duly protect them and guarantee their safety.
“Today, members of the security community and intelligence community came and briefed Mr. President on the security situation in the country.
“We deliberated on the consequences and came up with the resolve to further provide adequate security within the country so that the electorate will come out and cast their votes without any fear of molestation.
“Every Nigerian is encouraged to come out on the election day and cast his or her vote without any fear of molestation. The security personnel are ready and prepared to protect everybody.
“Anybody that feels that he can come out and disrupt process should have a rethink because that situation will not be allowed. If you plan and allow yourself to be used as touts, whatever happens to you, you will take it.
“Ballot box snatching, ballot buying, thuggery will never be allowed. Anybody that is planning to snatch ballot boxes or planning to be used as a tout, will have him or herself to blame on election day. So, you better don’t allow yourself to be used,” he threatened.