Director, Strategic Communication of President Muhammadu Buhari Festus Keyamo (SAN) and Senator Dino Melaye of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday clashed over the President’s statement on punishment for those who snatch ballot boxes.

On Channels Television, Keyamo said the President merely justified the position of the law, which outlines punishment for those who used forceful means to stop voters from enjoying their right to free electoral participation.

He said the position of the President was to warn the violent minority, who tried to make life unbearable for the peaceful majority.

Keyamo said the President would not seat aloof, while some thugs tried to derail the free will of the people to decide how they wanted to be governed.

He said: “What the President said is 100 per cent correct. The law is that when you are caught at the scene of an attack, for fomenting violent, like ballot snatching, that is you have threatened peoples live and the punishment for that is death.

“Again, when the President said those who snatch ballot boxes will be punished, he did not mention APC or PDP. He simply said those who snatch ballot boxes. So, why is the PDP making issues out of it.”

Responding, Malaye said the President’s statement was too harsh, noting that people could only by punished after going through due process and found guilty of the offences they are accused of committing.

He said government’s position amount to curing illegality with illegality, noting that it leaves the electoral process in a precarious situation.

“We are supposed to be in a civilised country, where there should be decorum. It is so appalling that such a statement emanated from the President. And instead of apologising, the APC is trying to justify the statement of the President.”

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