Nigeria News

Nigeria News

Dreams Shattered, Hope Dashed As INEC Postpones 2019 Elections

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Nigeria News takes a look at the postponement of the presidential election by INEC.

After the specks of dust from the rallies have subsided and all campaigns by the 72 political parties have stopped, Nigerians filed out in groups to elect new leaders.

Today was supposed to mark the beginning of a new political season in the history of Nigeria but the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) dashed the hope of many Nigerians who had prepared so hard to elect their new leaders.

INEC announced early this morning that the presidential and National Assembly elections have been postponed to February 23 while the governorship and the state house of assemblies will now take place on March 9 instead of March 2.

Earlier, armed policemen, operatives of the Department of State Service and soldiers have mounted the major roads, hot spots and the quiet places to provide security across the country.

The election in Nigeria usually looks like war and this one was not going to be different until early this morning that the INEC changed the dates.

The commission could not give a vivid reason except that the postponement was due to logistic reasons.

It was gathered that the Chairman of INEC, Mahmud Yakub had a closed-door meeting with electoral commissioners from nine states on why the election could not go on.

Before now the major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was of the opinion that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was bent on rigging the poll.

There are hundreds of international election observers, including those from European Union, African Union, ECOWAS and some high commissions in Nigeria whose hope of monitoring the election have been dashed.

There are local observers, mostly from the civil society group, that have settled down to see how the Independent National Electoral Commission will conduct the presidential and legislative elections.

Nigerians are not prepared to dance the war beat, they have endured successive governments and have learnt much from the deception of the political elites.

There was only a major instance of thuggery at the APC campaign in Lagos in which a popular Chieftain of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, MC Oluomo was stabbed by the rival members of the NURTW.

Also in Kano State, some hoodlums destroyed the vehicles and posters of the PDP candidates while in Anambra, it was gathered that some party supporters died during a rally.

Despite this hooliganism, the government has ensured that there is peace ahead of the presidential election while INEC never deemed it fit to postpone the poll earlier.

One would need to mention the death of three persons when gunmen attacked the convoy of the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima on his way to campaign ground.

These events have always been the signs each time Nigeria is to hold a general election. It has not really changed but it is steadily reducing.

Perhaps that was why President Muhammadu Buhari dissociated his government from any threatening statement that may emanate from any public officer.

He said that the government would provide adequate security to ensure a peaceful, free and fair election across the country.

During the week, it would be recalled that the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai threatened the diplomatic community with death threat.

He said that any foreigner who tried to intervene in Nigeria’s affairs, especially in today’s election would be sent back to his country in a body bag.

EL-Rufai’s unguarded statement generated a lot of discordant views within and outside Nigeria but instead of the government to douse the tension, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mallam Shehu Garba, corroborated El-Rufai, calling on the EU and US not to intervene in Nigeria’s issue.

However, the international election observers had posited that EL-Rufai’s threat would not stop them from monitoring the election. Not until Friday morning, the Federal Government did not change El-Rufai’s words of threat.

Nevertheless, the election has been postponed as the day of decision for Nigerians to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea had been shifted.

The electorate has the power to choose who to lead them for the next four years. It is either they choose Buhari for the next level or the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar who has promised to better the economy.

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