Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while speaking on Tuesday at the PDP National Executive Committee meeting, said that more ruthless and dictatorial leaders than General Muhammadu Buhari had been fought in the past.
Atiku’s statement came as a reaction to Buhari’s order to security agencies to kill ballot box snatchers during the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The former VP also cautioned soldiers and other security agents against obeying unlawful orders from President Buhari.
“When you people are talking about democracy, I have always said that General Muhammadu Buhari is not a democrat. He has never been a democrat. We started the fight to drive the military away from governance, he was never there. He never participated.
“I am sure that you have followed with interest, utterances from the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, and General Muhammadu Buhari in particular which are a painful reminder of the era of dictatorship and military rule. General Buhari has consistently violated the constitution; he failed to uphold the rule of law.
“Only yesterday (Monday), General Buhari said and I quote, “The military and police should be ruthless. Anybody who disturbs the voting system will do so at his own risk” that is General Buhari.
“It is shocking for any head of state to utter such words in a democracy and we shall not accept it from General Buhari in this country. We have fought more ruthless dictators than him.”
He further alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had equipped many of their members with devices capable of slowing down or quickening Smart Card Readers during elections, adding that the ruling party was deploying it in geopolitical zones where the APC believed it would lose.
“So, if you are in the South-South, South-East and North-Central, you are likely to get your card readers to be slowed by those APC operatives.
“We have seen the machines; we have interviewed some of those who have gone on this training, and we have passed that information to the campaign council to pass to you.
“But if you are from the North-West or North-East the tendency is that they will use these machines to fasttrack the reading of your card readers, so that many of their supporters can vote while disenfranchising the other three zones.”
He urged President Buhari to ensure that elections was free, fair and credible.
“If you do so and if you win, then the people will commend you for it but otherwise, history will condemn you for it but before history does that, we will condemn you for it,” he added.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also in an apparent response to Buhari’s order said that electoral offenders should be dealt with according to the provision of the Electoral Act.
“The position of the commission is that all violators of the Electoral Act should be punished according to the provisions of the Electoral Act,” INEC noted.