Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Spiritual leader of the Igbo nation, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s shoot-at-sight order against anybody caught in the act of snatching ballot boxes during the Presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, saying it is jungle justice which has no place in the law of nature and spirits and that of the Federal Republic as enshrined in the nation’s Constitution.
Reacting to the order in an encounter with journalists at his office in Oba, Anambra State yesterday, Ezeonwuka stressed that as the Spiritual leader of Ndigbo, he wouldn’t support an act of jungle justice which had no backing of law and spirit to take place in Igbo land saying that anybody found to be violating the law or process of election has to be dealt with according to the law guiding the land and the process.
While attributing the order to President Buhari’s hardline stance against corruption and lawlessness, the Igbo Spiritual leader stressed the need for Nigerians particularly politicians standing for elective positions and their supporters to understand the order as a stem warning against those who might have decided to go for the election on do or die note and planned snatching of ballot boxes.
“Election is not a do or die affair, it is either you win or you lose,” he explained, adding, “While I reject the order emphatically, I advise Nigerians and the law enforcement agencies in particular to give a better understanding to the order and take it as ambiguous statement aimed at putting down preventive and protective measures against politicians or anybody or group with the intention and plan to snatch ballot box during the elections on Saturday.
“Prevention is better than cure; to prevent disease is better than spending money on medication to cure it, I see Buhari’s outburst as a preventive measure. However we have to reject it to avoid giving the devil room to operate, some trigger hungery security operatives might take advantage of the order to shoot at hoodlums on sight and that won’t be acceptable.
Ezeonwuka who is a member of the Board of Trustees of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) advised politicians, political parties and their supporters most especially the youth who are often used as thugs to capitulate to the Presidential order and avoid any ugly act of violence capable of jeopardizing the chances of free, fair and credible election in Saturday.
He also charged community leaders such as town unions and traditional rulers in all parts of the country to collaborate with law enforcement agents to ensure the safety of INEC officials and youth corps members to avoid what happened last time when some youth corps members were reported as victims of election violence. He noted that the safety of election workers should be paramount to the security agents.