The main headlines of the mainstream Nigerian newspapers for Thursday, February 21, are focused on the controversial order by President Muhammadu Buhari that ballot box snatchers may be shot by the Nigerian Army.
Nigerian newspaper, The Guardian reports that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, yesterday faulted the advice by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, that the Nigerian Army should disregard President Buhari’s directive to deal ruthlessly with ballot box snatchers during the coming general elections.
The COAS made the comments at a meeting he held with the principal staff officers, general officers commanding and brigade commanders ahead of the polls billed to commence this Saturday.
Vanguard, another Nigerian newspaper, reports that Buratai asked the former vice president, Atiku, to withdraw his statement asking the Army to disobey the president’s directive to be ruthless on ballot box snatchers.
This Day reports that Buratai, on Wednesday accused Atiku of inciting the military to disobey President Buhari’s lawful orders, saying this is an unthinkable proposition in the military.
Buratai demanded that the PDP presidential candidate withdraws his advice which he said was tantamount to incitement.
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Meanwhile, The Punch newspaper reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission on Wednesday assured the electorate that the rescheduled presidential and National Assembly elections slated for Saturday would hold.
It said only an ‘act of God’ could stop the conduct of the polls.
The INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated this in Abuja while addressing a cross-section of the diplomatic community and international election monitoring groups in Nigeria on the elections.
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