Election postponement: People have lost interest in the elections, city-wide investigation reveals

SUNNY DAVID, AWKA

Many Nigerians have expressed shock and condemned the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, for postponing the 2019 general election barely few hours to the exercise.

In this report, our correspondent went round the capital city of Awka Anambra state to ascertain people’s reactions and now reports.

The presidential and national assembly elections scheduled to hold on the February 16th, 2019 was shifted to 23 of this month while the governorship and State House of Assembly was also postponed to 9th of March 2019.

Baring his mind on the development, a teacher at Nnamdi Azikiwe University High School Awka, Mr. Patrick Chukwuma, considered INEC actions as uncalled for considering the time of the postponement adding that since the amalgamation of Nigeria, no general election has been shifted the particular day it was scheduled to take place.

Mr. Chukwuma added that the postponement has brought a great shame to the country.

A food vendor at Arroma junction Awka, Mrs. Ifeoma Ugochukwu, said she felt disappointed over the election shift of which she noted has denied people access to their businesses.

On his part an industrialist, Mr. Stephen Okenwa, explained that if INEC could not prepare for election in four years they would not be ready in just one week, noting that the postponement has made people to lose interest in the election.

Mr. Edmond Okeke, a retired civil servant and a trader in Awka, Mr. Edwin Okafor, said the postponement took everybody by surprise and off balance as many have conditioned their minds that are going to the polls.

Also several hours after the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly Elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, most markets and petrol stations in Onitsha remained shut with traffic on roads still scanty.

Our correspondent, who monitored the situation, observed that most busy roads were almost empty without vehicular movement throughout on Saturday.

The ever busy New Market Road, Old Market Road, Awka Road, Upper Iweka, Owerri Road, Zik Avenue, Sokoto Road, Bida Road, Bright Street, Port Harcourt Road, Niger Street and many others major were empty.

The ever busy Main Market, Ochanja, Ose, Electronics Market, Bridge-Head and Nkpor New Parts and other major markets in the area were also under lock and key.

Most of the petrol stations were also closed.

Few men were seen sitting and standing in front of their houses while others gathered in groups to discuss the postponement of the elections.

Mrs. Francisca Nwonu, a food vendor, who resides at Ozomagala Street, decried the postponement, saying it had disorganised so many people.

Mr. Ikenna, residing in Federal Housing Estate, 3-3, who expressed dissatisfaction over the postponement, said INEC had enough time to prepare adequately for the elections.

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