Nigeria News

NIGERIA: Mixed Reactions Trail Election Postponement

The announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to shift the general election from February 14 and 28, to March 28 and April 11 has indeed triggered chains of reaction from the polity. While a larger chunk of the reactions condemn, in very hard and unkind terms, the postponement, some others believe it is done to save the nation and the electoral body from greater danger and chaos. Many of the reactions from the opposition parties berated the service chiefs and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the postponement, whereas pro-establishment stakeholders have striven to justify the shift.

Our correspondents provide some of the reactions from across board.

Mark, APC Senators Disagree on Postponement of 2015 Polls
Senate President David Mark and his colleagues in All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday disagreed sharply on the decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the 2015 polls.

While Mark in a statement in Abuja described the postponement as a necessary step to avoid anarchy as a result of security lapses, APC senators described it as a teleguided  move towards derailing democracy.
The Senate President urged all Nigerians to embrace caution with a view to avoiding failure of the exercise.

"We all must take the path of caution in order not to jeopardise the process towards a successful exercise in the Nigerian project. It is a necessary step to avoid anarchy and chaos because of some shortcomings and insecurity fuelling the already charged atmosphere," he said.

He added that if Nigeria must conduct peaceful, free, fair and credible election that will conform with international best practices, all stakeholders and participants must hold a common position, adding that any "step not taken or subverted could produce a questionable result."

He added: "That is why we must all be careful in what we do or say. I believe all Nigerians, both partisan and non partisan are passionate and indeed desirous of a successful election for the good of our nation.

"We need not do anything that would aggravate or overheat the polity.  We must do our utmost best and contribute positively towards successful elections.

"Let us give peace a chance. Let us exercise restraint. Let us dutifully follow the laws and rules and make  a success of the situation."

Mark warned foreign concerns against joining the fray of the opposition to cause confusion, saying all that is required of them is understanding as well as genuine support "to help us reach our destination  and not attempt to join the fray of the confusion."

However, the APC caucus in a statement said the ruling PDP midwifed the postponement because of fear of imminent defeat, adding that the move showed the helplessness of INEC in the hands of persons who want to truncate the present civil rule.

"What we are seeing is a desperate and jittery response to the imminent defeat of the PDP. The postponement has shown the helplessness of INEC in the face of a malicious cabal bent on destroying the fabric of democracy.

"This decision is borne out of fear of defeat and malice against the people of Nigeria in the face of the overwhelming support the APC commands across the country," the caucus said.

The senators further alleged that the postponement, which they described as the fallout of connivance by PDP leadership along with INEC, is a diversionary tactic with the intention to undermine democracy and truncate people's desire for change.

They also argued that the move would have adverse effects on the nation's economy and further soil Nigeria's image in the comity of nations.
"It is a diversionary tactic which undermines the aspirations of Nigerians  and dims the hope for change in a country that in the past has seen bitter upheavals due to similar partisan posture of the election umpire," they said.

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