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Nigeria's president tells security forces to be 'ruthless'

Published
Nigerian police guard the entrance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party headquarters where Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari holds an emergency meeting with senior members of the party in Abuja, Nigeria, Monday Feb. 18, 2019. Nigeria's electoral commission delayed the presidential election until Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

UGHELLI, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's president says security forces should be "ruthless" ahead of the country's postponed election and that anyone who tries to disturb the vote "will do so at the expense of his own life."

President Muhammadu Buhari spoke Monday as both Nigeria's ruling party and top opposition party condemned the last-minute decision to delay Saturday's vote until Feb. 23.

The president's comments brought an outcry from some Nigerians since he signed a pledge last week to contribute to a peaceful election.

But a ruling party chieftain in Rivers state, Eze Chukwuemeka, said the comments didn't endorse "jungle justice, as some people are putting it. As leader, you don't sit down and watch while your nation is going down the drain."

The electoral commission has allowed election campaigning to resume.

Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, center, leaves his party's headquarters after holding an emergency meeting with senior members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja, Nigeria, Monday Feb. 18, 2019. Nigeria's electoral commission delayed the presidential election until Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) dance outside the party headquarters where Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari holds an emergency meeting with senior members of the party in Abuja, Nigeria, Monday Feb. 18, 2019. Nigeria's electoral commission delayed the presidential election until Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Nigerian soldiers block the road leading to the entrance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party headquarters where Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari holds an emergency meeting with senior members of the party in Abuja, Nigeria, Monday Feb. 18, 2019. Nigeria's electoral commission delayed the presidential election until Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Nigerian soldiers block the road leading to the entrance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party headquarters where Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari holds an emergency meeting with senior members of the party in Abuja, Nigeria, Monday Feb. 18, 2019. Nigeria's electoral commission delayed the presidential election until Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Nigerian soldiers block the road leading to the entrance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party headquarters where Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari holds an emergency meeting with senior members of the party in Abuja, Nigeria, Monday Feb. 18, 2019. Nigeria's electoral commission delayed the presidential election until Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, center, leaves his party's headquarters after holding an emergency meeting with senior members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja, Nigeria, Monday Feb. 18, 2019. Nigeria's electoral commission delayed the presidential election until Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, center, leaves his party's headquarters after holding an emergency meeting with senior members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja, Nigeria, Monday Feb. 18, 2019. Nigeria's electoral commission delayed the presidential election until Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Nigerian police guard the entrance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party headquarters where Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari holds an emergency meeting with senior members of the party in Abuja, Nigeria, Monday Feb. 18, 2019. Nigeria's electoral commission delayed the presidential election until Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Nigerian police guard the entrance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party headquarters where Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari holds an emergency meeting with senior members of the party in Abuja, Nigeria, Monday Feb. 18, 2019. Nigeria's electoral commission delayed the presidential election until Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) dance outside the party headquarters where Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari holds an emergency meeting with senior members of the party in Abuja, Nigeria, Monday Feb. 18, 2019. Nigeria's electoral commission delayed the presidential election until Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) dance outside the party headquarters where Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari holds an emergency meeting with senior members of the party in Abuja, Nigeria, Monday Feb. 18, 2019. Nigeria's electoral commission delayed the presidential election until Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)