Polls postponement a big slap to Nigeria–Aare Adams
*It’s an international embarrassment–Agbaje
By Dapo Akinrefon
THE Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Aare Gani Adams, today, expressed worry over the last minute postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, describing it as a slap to Nigeria.
Speaking against the backdrop of the sudden shift by the electoral umpire, Adams, urged Nigerians to remain calm, saying the peace and unity of Nigeria is far beyond personal interests.
He said the decision to postpone the election at the last minute has a huge implication on the integrity of Nigeria, both in Africa and across the world, even as it affects the economy of the country.
Adams, however, flayed INEC, saying the shift has raised questions about its level of preparedness.
His words: “Report of the non availability of sensitive and non sensitive election materials in about 15 states has raised questions on the credibility and level of preparedness of the electoral body, and the leadership of INEC should remember the inglorious story of the June 12 annulment that eventually draw the nation backward.
I want to say that the one week window occasioned by the postponement will determine a lot of things about the Nigerian future, and there should be no inconclusive election, no excuse, either head or tail election must hold.
“Every plan is as good as its implementation. Ordinarily, the timing for the postponement is wrong, it should have come at least, two weeks before the election, not two hours to the day of election. And like every other Nigerians that have been reacting, I want to say it categorically, that it is sad that the electoral umpire had to shift the date of the election barely a few hours into the election.
“The biggest corruption is to rig an election. It is also frustrating that Nigerians gave up their livelihood. Businesses are put on hold across the country and Nigerians had to go through the same pain stocking assorted food stuffs, and staying at home just for them to cast their votes. But as a Nigerian who believe in peace and the unity of the country, I urge the INEC to prepare well and put its house in order for it to succeed in its duty to conduct free, fair and credible elections.”
Postponement, an international embarrassment–Agbaje
Also reacting, the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, has expressed disappointment and shock over the postponement of Nigeria’s elections.
Agbaje, in a statement by his Director of Media and Publicity, Felix Oboagwina, said: “We are disappointed as well as shocked that right on the eve of the polls, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) can so summarily postpone elections that have taken so long for everyone to prepare for. This is not good for our democracy.
“This can put a question mark on even the results of the elections, especially if, God forbid, it now favours the ruling party.
“To voters and politicians, this comes as a rude anti-climax, especially as the INEC Chairman, Dr. Mahmood Yakubu, had always given assurances and expressed confidence that the process was tight, right and ready.
International observers and the world Press are on ground. The whole world has its sight glued to Nigeria; and then you come up with this type of narrative about shoddy logistics. It is a shock. This came completely from the blue.”