Presidential order on ballot-snatching: My position – by Frank Ofili3 views
In the last 24 hours, I have received loads of Facebook inbox messages from some of you accusing me of supporting ballot snatching.
As justification for this accusation, the senders of the messages referred to my short memo to President Buhari which I posted on my Facebook timeline on 19th February. In that short memo, I disagreed with President Buhari on his order to security agents to be “ruthless” with – and by implication shoot – ballot box snatchers.
For whatever it is worth, let me say that I don’t think I owe anybody any explanation for the stand I took. But just so that we don’t misunderstand ourselves, let me say that I am as avers to ballot snatching as any other patriotic Nigerian with good conscience. My opposition to the presidential order is hinged solely on the fact that it could easily be abused, and innocent young men and women could be dispatched to early grave through extra-judicial killing.
If such happens, it is Mr. President who would be blamed. We have seen this scenario play out now and again.
I said this much in my short memo under reference. Curiously, these accusers failed to note that.
Despite being an ardent supporter of President Buhari, I have, in the past, taken some positions, based on principle, conviction and what I believed would have been a better course of action, against certain decisions of the of the government.
Those positions I took were consistent with my conscience, the way I am, and the promise I made to myself to support Buhari without being blind to his blind side. After seeing how President Jonathan was deceived by his closest supporters into taking certain wrong decisions which today the country is still suffering, I promised not to walk the same path but to tell the President the truth whenever I feel it is necessary.
It is in line with that promise that I aired my view on the presidential order on ballot snatching. Sadly, it seems some people have chosen to twist my position for some unclear reasons.
I believe we have enough laws in our statute books to deal with electoral offenders without recourse to measures that could potentially result in extra-judicial killing. That has been my position. That still remains my position.
Let me say this, if my opposition to shoot at sight means I’m in support of ballot snatching, then all those who supported #EndSARS Campaign were also supporters of armed robbers.
I rest my case.