Nigerians woke early morning of Saturday to have heard an unprepared breaking news announcement of postponing the 2019 general elections by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The commission has rescheduled the presidential and national assembly elections slated to hold on the 16th February, and 2nd March, a new date has been set aside for the governorship and State House of assembly elections.
The announcement by the chairman of the commission, Prof Mahmud Yakubu said the presidential and National assembly elections will now be conducted on the 23rd of February, while governorship and state house of assembly elections will hold on the 9th March 2019.
The breaking news has grieved the heart of many people in Adamawa state, where stakeholders of the Major contending parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) has passed positive and negative reactions to the sudden change of plans by INEC.
The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar while addressing national and international Journalists at his Dougeri residence in Jimeta-Yola called on Nigerians to be patient and be ready to vote.
The PDP candidate though expresses shocks and surprises that elections would be postponed a few hours to the elections.
He further said that he is not too worried that sensitive materials have been deployed already, “As long as they are in safe hands there should be no problem.
“I am heading to Abuja for an emergency meeting of our party stakeholders then we will respond.”
The former EFCC Chairman who is the Director of Field operations campaign organization of All Progressives Congress, APC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu consider the postponement as “unfortunate” and uncalled for as an ample time was given to INEC to fully prepare to conduct rancour and hitch free election.
Ribadu blamed INEC for making Nigerians have a catastrophic loss of time and resources for what would have been possibly conducted within slated time and dates.
” I’m appealing to Nigerians to stay put in the spirit of voting and make sure they come out massively to vote,” he said.
The reaction of Adamawa state chairman of the PDP, Tahir Shehu was largely complaining against INEC, he slammed them for postponing the elections saying they were not surprised that INEC could cite logistics reasons because they had raised objections over INEC’s partnership with Nigerian Union of Road Transport workers (NURTW.)
Tahir said, “What they have done has cast a dark shadow on the country.
“We are calling on security agencies and the regulatory body not to ignite a crisis in the country.
“Nigerians everywhere in the country will not take any kind of manipulation.
“We call on Nigerians come out and defend their votes, one thousand people can organise rigging but two people can foil it.”
Speaking on the logistics arrangement in the state he said, “INEC gave us only 200 tags for our party’s agent when we needed about 4000 because we have about 4000 voting points in Adamawa and more than 2609 polling units.
“The APC in the state submitted names of only agents of seven local governments while we submitted for all the local governments yet we are the ones without the tags.
“We had earlier warned about INEC’S partnership with NURTW who openly endorsed the sitting president.
“We are calling on the security agencies to desist from meddling in elections.
“APC has already seen the handwriting on the wall and Atiku is what Nigerians want right now.”
Also reacting was the public relations of APC, Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi, lamenting the unfortunate situations but extolled government for providing all the necessary things for good elections to be conducted by INEC.
Revealed whatever the case may be let it be the best for the country as by now it is being expected that people are casting their ballots.
“In reality, INEC has confirmed to Nigerians whatever they wanted in terms of logistics have been given to them by the government, they would have adequately prepared before telling us they ready for the elections.
” Bad as it may seem, let us hope that INEC discovers their lapses and the will conduct a credible election the Nigeria and Nigerians will be proud of.”
The traditional ruler of Mbula kingdom who is there on acting capacity, Mr Fenny Fwa on his Facebook page was already calling on INEC to “please have a human face.”
According to him, Nigeria is the 8th wonder of the world. A country of 180m, with a pool of the best brains in the world, can not for more than 3 years since INEC was reconstituted on 21st October 2015, organize a simple election.
He said the same thing happened in the 2015 general election, where Prof Jega had to postpone the election,but Jega according to him was having a human face because he put the politicians on adequate notice because by announcing the postponement on 7th of February 2015, an event that was to take place on the 14th of the same month and was postponed for six weeks to give adequate time for preparations.
“The annoying thing is why would the commission wait until on Saturday, the day of the election for it to postpone the election when all the candidates had exhausted their resources in preparation? This postponement no matter how sound the reasoning has no human face; it ought to have been done much earlier.
“This INEC 11th hour postponement of the general election is a confirmation our woes as a rudderless, disorganised people that lack the gravitas to surmount our development problems. Fellow compatriots, we are in trouble!!!” Fwa Said