President Muhammadu Buhari said he has ordered the military and law enforcement officers to be ruthless with those involved in election fraud, following the postponement of the general elections.
"I really gave the military and police orders to be ruthless," Buhari said. "I want Nigerians to be respected, let them vote whoever they want across the parties."
Buhari spoke on Monday February 18 in Abuja at an emergency meeting called by the All Progressives Congress (APC). He added: "I'm going to warn anybody who thinks he has enough influence in his locality to lead a body of thugs to snatch ballot boxes or disturb the voting system, will do so at the expense of his own life."
Buhari's critics, led by the People's Democratic Party (PDP), the main opposition group, have called the president's comments a "direct call for jungle justice."
"It is indeed a licence to kill, which should not come from any leader of any civilised nation," PDP spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan said in a statement.
The general elections were scheduled for Saturday February 16, but were postponed until February 23. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced that it delayed the elections just hours before polls were to open due to "logistical" problems.
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