SDP decries election postponement, calls for calm

THE Social Democratic Party (SDP), on Saturday, described as unfortunate the postponement of the 2019 general elections, chiding the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its inability to assess the situation on the ground ahead of the election.

It further described the decision as unfortunate, given the readiness of the electorates and the determination of Nigerians to choose the president of their choice, calling on INEC to do the needful and fill the gaps during the window given to it to ensure a successful and credible election.

Acting National Chairman of the party, Professor Tunde Adeniran made this known in a statement signed by the Director, Media and Publicity of the party, Honourable Yemi Akinbode, a copy of which was made available to Tribune Online in Abuja.

According to the statement, “the leadership of our party received the news of the postponement of the 2019 general elections with mixed feelings. It is unfortunate that INEC had to postpone the elections despite the readiness of the electorate and commitment of Nigerians, some of who had travelled far and near to perform their civic responsibility of casting their votes for the candidate of their choice.

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“Apart from that, the botched election would have cost the Nigeria government and major stakeholder’s great fortune, which may have further declined the public lean revenue. We advise Nigerians and the general public to give INEC the needed support that it requires to carry out a credible election.

“The reason adduced for the postponement is cogent and sufficient justification for the postponement. For any successful election to take place, the logistics plan must be solid to ensure a seamless distribution of materials and personnel to the nooks and crannies of the country, especially in special areas like the riverine and crisis zones where special attention must be given.

“INEC must do the needful, put its house in order and ensure it is fully prepared now that it has been given additional time to fill the gaps and block all loopholes to ensure that the expectations of Nigerians and the international community are met.  INEC must reassure Nigerians and all the stakeholders of its commitment to a fair, free and credible poll on Saturday, February 23 and March 9, 2019. Nigerians will not accept any further excuse on the 2019 elections.” The statement stressed.

It further explained that the international community and Nigerian friends worldwide were looking at Nigeria to deliver on the promise of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to ensuring a fair and credible election.

“The inconvenience caused Nigerians and the huge resources already committed to the botch election were enough to ground for Nigerians to react, but he cautioned that as the giant of Africa, we should exercise some restraint in our reactions so that we don’t jeopardize INEC’s commitment to the conduct of a credible election.” It added.

The party, therefore, implored all the stakeholders and Nigerians, in general, to give INEC the needed support to complete the work it had already started, saying “if the one-week postponement will determine the conduct of a fair and credible election, then the postponement is worth the while.”

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