Nigeria: 'I Am Not Afraid to Lose' - Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari.
18 February 2019

President Buhari says he is not afraid to lose the presidential election rescheduled early Saturday morning to February 23.

Mr Buhari spoke at a national caucus meeting of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) held on Monday at the party's headquarters in Abuja over the postponement of the election.

The meeting was attended by the president, National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, party leader Bola Tinubu, 11 APC governors, and Minister of Transportation.

"I am not afraid to lose. I have gone around the 36 states and Abuja I think I have enough supporters across the country to look after me." Mr Buhari said.

Mr Buhari said he wants Nigerians to be respected irrespective of the outcome of the election.

He also urged Nigerians to come out and vote on the rescheduled date for the candidates of their choice.

"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," the president said.

Buhari Warns INEC

Speaking on the postponement of the general elections, Mr Buhari warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to take Nigerians for granted.

He said the commission had all the time and resources to prepare for the elections.

He also said the postponement of the elections would be reviewed after the elections are held so that the nation could know what led to it.

"INEC had all the time, all the resources, all they wanted. They did not have to wait for only six hours to announce the postponement.

"This incompetence has to be explained to the nation after the elections and who is responsible. What is the use if we accept incompetence? The constitution and the laws protected INEC but they must not take us for granted.

"If for example, the National Assembly did not approve what INEC wanted, then INEC could have had a moral reason why they could not perform.

"We do not understand this inefficiency, and we have to get the details after the elections," Mr Buhari said.

Death To Ballot Box Thieves

Mr Buhari also said he has told the security chiefs to clamp down on anyone who wants to disrupt the electoral process. He said the security chiefs had briefed him on the possible hot spots and flash spots.

"We have to tell our constituencies that they have to be patient and they have to behave in a very responsible way by going peacefully to vote again," he said.

Ballot boxes used to illustrate the story.

"And they should depend on party representatives in each polling unit out of the 176,000 polling units and they should be there, those who have been given the responsibility to watch over the party's interest. I do expect anybody to make trouble.

"I have briefed the law enforcement agencies and military. They have identified hotspots, flash spots and they should be prepared to move. And then secondly, they have made arrangements as possible and resources have been made as much as the country can afford it."

Mr Buhari then warned ballot box snatchers that they risk losing their lives.

"Anybody who decides to snatch boxes or lead thugs to disturb the election. Maybe that would be the last unlawful action you would take. I have given the military and police the order to be ruthless to anybody.

"I am going to warn anybody who thinks he would lead a body of thugs in his locality to snatch boxes or to disturb the voting system. He would do it at the expense of his/her own life."

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