Nigeria News

Nigeria News

Aftermath The Postponement of General Election

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Nigeria News takes a look at the aftermath of the postponement of the Saturday’s general election. INEC’s decision was shocking. It came at the die minutes when Nigerians were in bed.

The politicians were awake, putting finishing touches to their permutations for the February 16 election.

Journalists could not sleep. Many spent the night in offices, mapping the routes to take on how to report the election.

Decent international and local election observers had gone to bed but woke up to hear the postponement of the much-awaited polls.

The INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmud Yakub had to wait till 2:30am to announce the postponement, citing logistics problem.

INEC has angered almost all the 72 political parties over this decision and this includes the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

Earlier in the day, the APC candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari said he was deeply disappointed with INEC, in spite months of preparation and the commission’s repeated assurance to conduct a free and fair election.

At the post News conference by INEC, the National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole bemoaned the excuses of the electoral body that the postponement was due to bad weather and logistics.

Oshiomhole joined leaders of other political parties at the conference to ask for compensation from INEC.

He said that the APC, like other political parties, had spent a huge sum of money to mobilize party agents and fund other logistics but here they are counting their losses.

However, Yakub noted that the reasons for the postponement decision was not only on bad weather and logistics but also on security purpose.

Citing Chapter 26 of the electoral act, Yakub said that the INEC has the constitutional rights to postpone the election if it finds out that the process is faulty.

According to him, there were fire incidents in three locations in Plateau, Anambra and Abia states in which INEC offices were razed.

On compensation, Yakub said that the electoral law did not provide for such as he called on aggrieved political parties to sponsor a bill that could address issue of compensation at the National Assembly.

The PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar also condemned the postponement but was quick to advise his supporters to be patient and law abiding.

This is not the first time the INEC would be postponing election. In 2015, the commission under the chairmanship of Professor Attahiru Jega postponed the presidential election by two weeks.

The Postponement was on the instance of the then President Goodluck Jonathan who gave security reasons for the INEC action.

In 2011, INEC also postponed the election due to the shortage of electoral materials. All these were done weeks before the election. The postponement of Saturday’s election at the wee hour throws up many questions, mostly the timing.

The Federal Government has ensured adequate funding of the commission, Yakub confessed on Saturday, yet INEC failed to deliver.

The commission’s chairman took time to answer questions but failed to say the simplest word of apologies to millions of Nigeria and scores of international election observers that must have committed a lot of resources to the postponed polls.

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