Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu has explained why the Presidential and National Assembly elections earlier scheduled for Saturday was postponed.
The commission announced a one-week postponement of the elections at about 2am on Saturday, five hours before commencement of voting.
Ascribing the postponement to “logistics” challenges, Prof. Mahmoud also cited sabotage in some states as reasons.
Addressing stakeholders in Abuja on Saturday., Professor Mahmoud blamed weather conditions for the inability of the commission to move materials to the states. He said, “in the last one week, flights within the country have been adversely affected by bad weather. For instance, three days ago, we were unable to deliver materials to some locations due to bad weather. We, therefore, had to rely on slow-moving long haulage vehicles to locations that can be serviced by air.”
Prof. Mahmoud also lamented the outbreak of fire at some INEC offices across the country which he ascribed to sabotage.
“In a space of two weeks, we had to deal with serious fire incidents in three of our offices in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State, Qu’an Pan Local Government Area of Plateau State and our Anambra State Office at Awka. In all three cases, serious disruptions were occasioned by the fire, further diverting our attention from regular preparations to recovery from the impact of the incidents,” he lamented.
Nigerians have reacted furiously to the news of the postponement and many have called for the resignation of the INEC Chairman.
The opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has condemned the postponement and accused President Buhari of trying to cling to power.
“Having failed in all their nefarious options to enable them cling on to power, the APC and the INEC came up with the idea of shifting election, an action that is dangerous to our democracy and is therefore unacceptable,” the statement read.
On its own part, the Buhari campaign organization claimed the post was a conspiracy of the opposition PDP which it claimed, “seriously needed this breather to orchestrate more devious strategies to try and halt President Buhari’s momentum. “
The statement signed by its Spokesman Festus Keyamo urged Nigerians to be patient and remain calm.
INEC has fixed February 23 and March 9 for the Presidential and National Assembly elections and the governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections respectively. It also maintained the ban on campaigns just as it foreclosed any possibility of further distribution of PVCs. Hahahahaha