The Nigerian Army has said its personnel are ready for ballot box snatchers as the rescheduled general election begins on Saturday.
President Muhammadu Buhari had warned those who thwart the electoral will of the people to shelve their plans or risk been gunned down.
The president gave the warning on Monday at the emergency meeting of All Progressive Congress (APC) caucus meeting in Abuja.
“Anybody who decides to snatch boxes or lead thugs to disrupt it (election), may be this is the last unlawful action you will take,” Buhari told his audience.
“I have already ordered the military and the police to be ruthless. We are not going to be blamed that you want to rig election.
“I want Nigerians to be respected, let them vote who ever they want across the (political) parties.
“Anybody who think he has enough influence in his locality to lead a body of thugs to snatch boxes or to disrupt the voting system, he will do it as the expense of his own life,” the president added.
Making known its readiness to comply with the directive, the Army through its spokesperson Sagir Musa, said the order will be complied with as the force is ready to carry out such order without hesitating.
“If Commander-in-Chief has given order to the Nigerian Army to that effect, be rest assured that order will be totally and effectively obeyed without any ifs or buts,” Mr Musa told an online news medium, Premium Times.
Meanwhile, a legal practitioner, Inibehe Effiong who disagreed with the president’s directive said such orders were in violation of the 2010 amended electoral act as security agencies are expected to take orders from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during elections.
“Under the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), all security agencies are to take instructions from INEC during elections. Buhari’s shoot at sight Order is illegal and amounts to a flagrant and disgraceful attack on the independence on the electoral commission and the rule of law,” Mr Effiong said Monday evening.
Meanwhile, a fact check by POLITICS TIMES has found the order of the Nigerian leader unconstitutional.