Politics

INEC postpones elections, blaming logistic and operational problems

The Independent National Electoral Commission has decided to shift Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections till next week 23 February.

It was one of the decisions reached early today in a crunch talk between between INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu and 12 national commissioners in Abuja, according to sources close to the meeting.

In 2015, the presidential election was shifted from February 14 to March 28th, 2015; while the governorship and assembly elections scheduled for 28 February were shifted to 11 April.

INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu confirmed NAN report of the shift of the presidential election, attributing the postponement of all the scheduled elections to logistic and operational problems.

He said the postponement will afford the commission the opportunity to address the identified challenges in order to maintain the quality of Nigeria’s elections.

The postponement of the election came after more than six hours of meeting between INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu and 12 national commissioners in Abuja.

The meeting, which began Friday evening ended early on Saturday.

Professor Yakubu said the INEC will be meeting all stakeholders at 2pm on Saturday at the International Conference Centre in Abuja to explain the commission’s position.

Rotimi Oyekanmi, the chief press secretary to the INEC chairman had hinted newsmen earlier that some decisions about the election had been reached and that the decision would be communicated later.

“I can confirm to you that the INEC Chairman and the 12 national commissioners are in the meeting.

” Decisions have been taken and you will be addressed later,” Oyekanmi said.

Presidential and National Assembly elections were scheduled to take place throughout the country today, while governorship and state assembly elections were slated for 2 March.

The national elections are expected to hold at 119,973 polling units across the country while collation of results will take place in 8,809 Registration Areas or Wards, 774 Local Government Areas and 36 States and the FCT.

It will not be the first time that the commission would postpone a scheduled general election.

In 2015, the presidential election was shifted from February 14 to March 28th, 2015; while the governorship and assembly elections scheduled for 28 February were shifted to 11 April.

EXPECT MORE CREDIBLE ELECTIONS – APC

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara, Dr Rex Olawoye,  says the postponement of the general elections by a week would make the exercise  more credible.

INEC Chairman, Prof.  Mahmood Yakubu,  confirmed NAN report of the shift of the elections, attributing this to logistic and operational problems.

He said the postponement would  afford the commission the opportunity to address the identified challenges in order to maintain the quality of Nigeria’s elections.

The postponement of the election came after more than six hours of meeting between  Yakubu and 12 national commissioners in Abuja.

Olawoye, in an early reaction, told NAN that INEC would have taken the hard decision based on the realities  on the ground.

” I believe that INEC would have cogent reasons for the postponement and Nigerians should expect  more credible elections.

“ This would, however, cost the nation more  expenses as much  logistics have been put in place, but the nation and the electoral process would be better off with the decision,”  he said.

He also said the postponement would give the APC another opportunity to intensity its preparations  ahead of the new rescheduled dates.

“APC will now have ample time to resume preparation for the final onslaught against the PDP.

“I therefore called on all our teeming supporters and APC members across the country  to redouble their efforts in order to realise our goal of ensuring continuity for the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

“I believe that within this space of time, we will make sure that we do not leave any stone unturned.

” By the grace of God,  APC is going to the next level, we would not relent in our efforts to return President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo back to Aso Rock,” Olawoye added.

ELECTIONS POSTPONEMENT: WE MUST MAINTAIN PEACE, ORDERLINESS — OKEI-ODUMAKIN

Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, President, Women Arise for Change Initiative, on Saturday urged Nigerians and political actors to sustain the atmosphere of peace and orderliness in the face of the shift in dates of the general elections.

Okei-Odumakin made the call in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, soon after the shift was announced.

INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at a press briefing, attributed the postponement of all the scheduled elections to logistic and operational problems.

Okei-Odumakin said: “While there is no doubt about the anxiousness of Nigerians, to participate in the 2019 General elections, it is wise to sound it that there can be no election, under an atmosphere of suspicion and hostilities.

“It is my hope that we shall sustain the atmosphere of peace and orderliness that we have witnessed over the past few days, while we all struggle to make our impact, irresistible, for the progress of our democracy.

“All Nigerians must remain steadfast, as we support INEC’s efforts and ensure that Nigerians are allowed to vote and determine, who they deserve as their leaders,” Okei-Odumakin said.

 

 

 

Source NAN

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