Read how INEC adhoc staff, corps members, security officials spent Friday night prior to postponement of elections

Embarrassment, Shocking, Insensitivity and Incompetence of Govt, INEC Says Nigerians

By Rosemary Nwaebuni

Delta State Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Bar. Kingsley Esiso, has described the last minute postponement of the 2019 general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as huge disgrace and international embarrassment to the entire nation and her citizens.

Esiso, who stated this in an interview, noted that the postponement was not only disappointing and shocking but wrongly timed as it came few hours to the commencement of the elections, when international journalists and their observers were already in the country to monitor the process.

He said that it was a shameful demonstration of incompetence and insensitivity of the government in power toward the plight of people, adding that every Nigerian eligible voter had already traveled to their various Wards to exercise their franchise and foreign and domestic observers already in various locations to observe the elections.

Continuing, he explained that the Adhoc staff and corps members engaged for the process were already in the different localities they were sent to, some slept in the open field, vehicles, school classrooms, community halls and so on only to hear the next minute that the elections have been postponed.

Esiso disclosed that the postponement was a proof of government’s incompetence and inability to conduct credible elections, adding that their incompetence has exposed the nation to monumental disgrace before the world.

Delta chapter of PDP, in a press statement issued by its’ spokesperson, Dr. Ifeanyi Osuoza, described the last minute postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections barely five hours to its commencement as shocking and urged its supporters to remain calm and steadfast in their resolve to make Nigeria work again by returning the party back to power.

While saying that come next Saturday, February 23, 2019, their resolve and dream would be realized. Osuoza described the logistics and operational challenges as reasons adduced the electoral umpire for the postponement of the elections as very unreasonable.

He noted that INEC was given all the financial resources and had four years planning period to put in place adequate logistics and fine tuning of its operational plans for the elections.

He revealed that the party was aware of furtive moves by elements extraneous to INEC based in Aso Rock and presidency who believed that the outcome of the process will not be in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari and presurised the electoral umpire to postpone it.

Osuoza said, …”we are shocked by the insensitivity of the electoral body to the implication that it had not worked hard enough at providing sound logistics and operational plans to the stakeholders who have spent huge resources and were set for the elections, but are now made to suffer losses by this postponement.

“We condemn this in very strong terms, and warn that INEC must not yield to the pressure of those in the presidency and the APC to rig Buhari and the APC candidates in, as Nigerians are resolute in their rejection of Buhari as president and the APC administration as the federal government.

“We urge all PDP leaders, members, and supporters not to despair at this postponement. Rather, we should take it up as a challenge that must be given the required attention and overcome it.

“We therefore urge our supporters and members to remain resolute by working to achieve the plan and purpose to ensure that the PDP at all levels win the elections, from the Presidential election of voting in Atiku Abubakar as President, the PDP senators and members of the House of Representatives, to the Governorship by voting massively for Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as our Governor for a second term and all PDP House of Assembly candidates”.

Reacting to the elections postponement, the state spokespersons of the All Progressives Congress, Barr. Ogheneluemu Sylvester Imonina said the postponement came to the party as a surprise as the party had done everything necessary to emerge victorious at the polls via rigorous campaigns within the state and across the country.

He noted that the electoral umpire had given its reasons for the postponement of the elections on account of logistics and operational challenges, saying that his party as the ruling party has no option than give them the benefit of doubt to address the issues and conduct credible elections come next Saturday.

He remarked that even APC as a party was not happy with the postponement as it had provided necessary logistics supports for its party and members saying that with the postponement, the party would have to start all over again.

Pastor Tony Okafor lamented that the elections postponement would put parents under pressure going to and fro their children schools towns/cities to pick their children from schools, adding that Federal Government had slated two mid-term breaks for school children due to the elections.

“Our children are with us now for the first segment of the mid-term break and elections have been postponed. Are they going to continue to stay with us at home until the elections comes next Saturday”, he quipped.

Also reacting to the postponement of the election, Delta State Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), Chief Fred Obi described it as embarrassment to Nigerian citizens, saying, the electoral body had four years planning span to have put its house in order.

While saying that it was demonstration of gross incompetence of the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mammood Yakubu to shock Nigerians who were already in the field with announcement of election postponement.

“it was a very pathetic situation as the economic life of the nation was kept on hold for the election and much funds earmarked for the elections amounted to wastage of resources”, he insisted..

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