Abuja – The Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum, a socio-cultural group, says the order given by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), is treasonable.
The group also condemned the call made by Abubakar on the military and other security organisations in the country to disregard President Muhammadu Buhari’s order on electoral violence.
The forum made the condemnation via a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Mr Akin Malaolu, on Friday, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Abubakar had earlier called on security agencies to ignore the order of the President who directed them to deal ruthlessly with perpetrators of electoral violence and ballot box snatching.
The former vice-president said military commanders and officers were not bound to execute orders that were manifestly unlawful.
“If you are a professional military officer and soldier and also a policeman, you are not bound to execute an order that is manifestly unlawful, no matter who issues that order,” Abubakar had said.
In its reaction, the Yoruba Ronu said the statement came as a rude shock especially as it seemed like the presidential candidate of PDP shouting down the Commander-In-Chief and the President in power.
“Buhari was only carrying out his lawful duty to the nation.
“Atiku’s call to the Nigerian military to disobey lawful order from a lawful authority is not only an act of instigation to create chaos, but a confident step to provoking destabilisation in the nation.
“His conduct is tantamount to committing high treason.
“From where did he derive his authority to counter lawful orders from?” Malaolu said.
The group said leaders and potential leaders must understand the need to ensure peace at all times regardless of their social or political standing in their communities.
“No Government would condone absolute liberty or impunity amongst its people except we are in a barbaric state.
“Nigeria is a lawful nation with laws and no one is above them, including Atiku Abubakar.
“If after the general election Atiku is picked up for committing high treason against our nation state, then the government in power would have acted in order and it shall serve as a lesson to others,” it said.
The group therefore called on eligible voters to be peaceful while performing their constitutional right of choosing their preferred President and federal legislators on Saturday.
“The elections shall be free and fair as promised by President Buhari, let us keep faith in his desire to ensure same,’’ it urged.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier scheduled presidential and National Assembly polls for Feb. 16, but later shifted these to Saturday for logistics and other reasons. (NAN)