By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA—President Mohammadu Buhari has cautioned the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and the Nigerian Police against giving in to undue pressure from some unscrupulous politicians to taint the integrity of elections.
Buhari gave the warning at a meeting he held with INEC officials and authorities of the Nigerian police.
It will be recalled that opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, last week raised alarm over the meeting between the president and the institutions, alleging suspicions.
But to set the records straight, the Senior Special Assistant to the president on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in a reaction to the PDP’s submission on Sunday night, stated that the president warned INEC and the police against any form of impunity during general elections.
According to him, president Buhari has suffered electoral manipulations in the past and wouldn’t want a repeat of such against anyone in future elections.
The president in the meeting that lasted only five minutes and had the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo in attendance also cautioned the institutions against intimidating the voters during elections.
According to Shehu: “The President called the meeting cited by the PDP to warn in particular, the INEC and the Police to prepare and give the nation a credible election. He said he expected nothing short of a free, fair and credible election. He said he had suffered election manipulation in 2003,2007 and 2011 and will not like to have any Nigerian go through that again.
“He warned against the intimidation of voters in anyway and vowed that he was prepared to move with all the force available to him against anyone who undermines the rights of any citizen.
“The meeting was short and straight to the point. It ended after five minutes.”
The SSA media however added that Nigerians should be wary of the PDP’s fruitless attempts to destroy national institutions which President Buhari is determined to rebuild. “They started with the courts, then the EFCC, then onto the Police and now they are on the one-week old INEC. When will PDP allow our national institutions to do their job?”, he asked.