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Keyamo, Melaye Clash Over Buhari’s “Ballot Box Snatching” Comment

The Director of Strategic Communications for the All Progressives Congress (APC) Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, and the Senator representing the Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye, have clashed over the president’s comment on ballot box snatching.

President Buhari, while speaking at an APC caucus meeting on Monday, declared that anyone who plans on snatching ballot boxes at this weekend’s election, does so at the expense of their life.

The comment has generated several reactions from stakeholders and observers, with many people tagging the comment incendiary and a threat to the life of citizens.

The Electoral Act provides that anyone caught snatching ballot box be arrested and prosecuted according to law of the land.

However, on Tuesday while appearing on Channels TV’s Politics Today program, Senator Melaye compared President Buhari to Idi Amin, asking the president to apologize to Nigerians for his unguarded words.

“I am utterly disappointed in my president. I am completely in shock that, in a democratic setting, a president will speak with the anointing of Idi Amin of Uganda. The president will use the word ‘ruthless,’ the president will order killings of Nigerians without going through legal procedures. That is totally unacceptable.”

“I expected that by now the President should have apologized to Nigerians and withdraw that statement but, instead, there has been a lot of efforts…by Chieftains of the APC, trying to defend what is not defendable,” the Senator declared.

Reacting to this, Mr Keyamo backed his principal, announcing that President Buhari was correct, constitutionally, and encouraged him to repeat his statement far and wide.

“I think I have listened to so many uninformed comments. What the president said is 100 percent correct, defensible and I will urge him to repeat it over and over again.”

“The President said that whoever leads a band of thugs to go and snatch ballot boxes will pay dearly for it with his life. That is a correct statement of the law.

Ballot box snatching is robbery. Ballot box snatching is armed robbery. Ballot box snatching is thwarting the will of the people. Ballot box snatching is changing a government by force, It’s treason. All are punishable by death.”

“Dino, you should spend more time in your Law Classes than in hospitals,” he said, cheekily.

The presidential election was postponed to February 23 after INEC cited some logistics challenges. Subsequently, the governorship election is expected to hold on March 9.

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