President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday reflected on the worsening insecurity in the country, saying that the incessant attacks on the assets of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will not affect the conduct of 2023 general elections.
He maintained that concerted efforts will be made to secure future polls in the interest of democracy.
The President lamented that the attacks were orchestrated to make his administration fail.
He said those behind the wanton destruction “will soon have the shock of their lives.”
There have been several attacks on the offices and other assets of the electoral commission in the Southeast by gunmen.
Apart from burning of INEC offices, many police stations had been torched while many policemen were killed by arsonists.
The President, who clarified that he does not harbour any third term ambition, said elections will hold for peaceful transfer of power in 2023.
The President spoke after he was briefed by the INEC Chairman Prof Mahmood Yakubu, on the attacks on facilities of the agency.
The President, who said his administration would empower the INEC to prevent electoral failure, assured that he would not give his traducers the impression that he has a motive to stay beyond his term of office.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, the President promised to support INEC to carry out its duties “so that no one would say we don’t want to go, or that we want a third term.”
He said: “There will be no excuse for failure. We’ll meet all INEC’s demands”.
President Buhari, however, warned those bent on destroying the country through insurrection and destruction of critical national assets that a rude shock awaited them very soon.
He said: “I receive daily security reports on the attacks, and it is very clear that those behind them want this administration to fail.”
“Insecurity in Nigeria is now mentioned all over the world. All the people who want power, whoever they are, you wonder what they really want. Whoever wants the destruction of the system will soon have the shock of their lives. We’ve given them enough time.”
The President recalled that he visited all the 36 states before the 2019 election, “and majority of the people believed me, and the election proved it.”
He promised to continue leading the country in accordance with constitutional provisions.
The President said those misbehaving in certain parts of the country were obviously too young to know the travails and loss of lives that characterised the Nigerian civil war.
He stressed: “Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand. We are going to be very hard sooner than later.”
The President said the Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police have been changed, “and we will demand security from them.”
Prof Yakubu said that so far, there have been 42 cases of attacks on INEC offices nationwide since the last general election.
He said: “The 42 incidents so far occurred in 14 states of the Federation for a variety of reasons. Most of the attacks happened in the last seven months, and they are unrelated to protest against previous elections.
“From the pattern and frequency of the most recent attacks, they appear to be targeted at future elections. The intention is to incapacitate the commission, undermine the nation’s democracy and precipitate a national crisis.”
Credit: The Nation
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