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Update: Abducted police ACP rescued unhurt, two suspects arrested
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Update: Abducted police ACP rescued unhurt, two suspects arrested

Musa Rabo, an assistant Commissioner of Police and area Commander in Suleja who was abducted over the weekend has reportedly been rescued unhurt. According to a statement by the Nigerian Police, 'the officer was successfully rescued this evening (Sunday, October 20th) by a combined team of Police […]

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Borderline or Battleline?

Nigeria Presidential Elections

Borderline or Battleline?

No one should blame the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Burutai for standing by the order of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari. The COAS has given his men full directive to obey Mr. President’s order to be “ruthless” on or to ballot box snatchers which has been interpreted by the major opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a SHOOT AT SIGHT order. Many go with this line of reasoning or interpretation even as the order has generated heated debate among Nigerians.

Photo: The News (Nigeria) /Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai: Chief of Army Staff

The outcry that has greeted this order is huge but it seems they are falling on deaf ears as those concern or those who gave the directive care less. It is now a clear case of the feelings of the people against the action of government. Naturally, government’s actions, programmes and policies should come from the demands or desires or wishes of the people who seem to be saying here and now that the shoot at sight order is not only high-handed but too military in a democratic dispensation. But government is standing it’s ground to prevent lawlessness which could pave way for the wrong people to gain entrance into power by means of vote stealing or ballot box snatching. In this divide lies the true test of democracy. Who really owns power….the people or those they voted to lead them? In this case, Nigerians saying no to ruthless treatment on ballot box snatchers or “shoot at sight” order as many term it….or Buhari and his APC government fully backing the order? 

Photo: Wetin Happen / “We Are 100% Battle Ready For Ballot Box Snatchers” – Army Says

This indeed is the height of power play or test of power or democracy. With few days to the rescheduled election, Nigerians are apprehensive about government’s position and the body language of the governing party which rushed into a caucus meeting on Monday shortly after the February 16 election date was postponed. Part of the outcome of that meeting was the shoot at sight decision of Mr. President.

Many suggest that perhaps Mr. President has enough intelligence reports at his disposal following the postponement of the election which informed his shoot at sight decision. Already there are reports of pre-election violence across the country. From Abia where results sheets of the postponed election were seen in cars allegedly belonging to a senior government aide to Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Kano and Delta where an aide to Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa was allegedly shot dead.

Cartoon representation of a ballot box snatched being chased by a police man

Indeed the borderline has been drawn for voters just as the battleline seems to have been equally drawn. Who blinks first? Who pulls the trigger first? Who draws the first blood? The political thugs bent on snatching ballot boxes or those ordered to shoot at sight? The major opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Abubakar Atiku has condemned the shoot at sight order arguing that it is plot cooked up to scare away voters to enable the governing party carry out its intention of winning by mere declaration of results. This on its own is generating more debate as the polity is already overheated. Critics wonder why this order was not issued or initiated during the governorship election in Ekiti and Osun States where ballot boxes were allegedly openly and freely snatched even at gunpoints yet election was declared inconclusive and winners later emerged. Some opine that the refusal of Mr. President to sign the electoral gave birth to the present situation and a shoot at sight order could spell doom.

Atiku has already toed the line of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan by saying his interest in becoming Nigeria’s next President does not worth the blood of any Nigerian. If therefore, ballot box snatchers who are sponsored by politicians decide to do their jobs and the military decides to obey the Commander-in-Chief by shooting at sight, hell surely will be let loose and the incoming President may have his hands soiled with the blood of his compatriots whom he wants to lead. However, ballot box snatching should not in anyway be encouraged by anyone. Those caught in the act must be ready to face the music. Enough said!

More drama lies ahead as we await February 23rd, 2019 when we would find out who crossed the borderline or battleline….

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