Nigerians are remobilising after presidential and parliamentary elections were postponed.
Different political parties brace up for the exercise to take place on Saturday, 23rd February 2019.
The political bureau of the All progressives Congress organized an emergency meeting this Monday, 18th February 2018.
Incumbent presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari said he was “deeply disappointed” but urged people to refrain from “civil disorder”.
The main candidate of the opposition, Atiku Abubakar on his part called for patience but accused the administration of “anti-democratic acts”.
Local media organs continue reporting campaigns in different parts of the country in violation of the Independent Electoral Commission.
During a press conference, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec), Mahmood Yakubu said the delay was due to logistical reasons.
In the meantime the incumbent and leading opposition candidate continue to call for calm.
Reasons for postponing General Elections
During a meeting of the commission with stakeholders in Abuja, the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu disclosed that lNEC has rescheduled the 2019 general elections by one week, postponing the Presidential and Parliamentary elections from Feb. 16 to Feb. 23, as well as the Governorship, State Assembly and FCT Area Council elections have been scheduled for March 2 to March 9 because of:
– delays in delivering ballot papers and result sheets for the elections, which according to him, was not unusual.
– logistics challenge and sabotage on the commission’s efforts.
– the Commission had been sued or joined in over 640 court cues arising from the nomination of candidates, adding that there were 40 different court orders against the Commission on whether to add or drop candidates.
– flights within the country have been adversely affected by bad weather in the last one week to election day. Commission was unable to deliver materials to some locations due to bad weather.
– Commission had to rely on slow moving long haulage vehicles to locations that can be serviced by air to facilitate the delivery of electoral logistics.
– attempts to sabotage its preparations, through serious fire incidents in three of its offices in lsiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State, Quan Pan Local Government Area of Plateau State and its Anambra State Office at Awka. In all three cases, serious disruptions were occasioned by the fire, as the commission had to replace all affected materials, including the Permanent Voter Cards.
– Over 4,600 prepared Smart card readers which took at least six months to procure were destroyed by fire at its Anambra State Office at Awka.
Yakubu said that the overall assessment of INEC was that if the elections went on as planned, polls would not open at 8a.m in all polling units nationwide.
He added that it is very important that the public perception of elections is that it is free, fair and credible. We promised Nigerians that we shall be open, transparent and responsive.