By Yemi Adeleye
#TrackNigeria: A Lawyer and Rights Activist, Dr Kayode Ajulo, has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be penitent and apologise to Nigerians and foreign stakeholders over the elections’ postponement.
Ajulo, a former National Secretary of the Labour Party (LP), gave the advice in Lagos on Saturday:
“The dramatic development that happened to the effect of elections postponement overnight to its conduct by INEC is simply unfortunate as well as embarrassing.
“As adduced by INEC, the reasons presented as alibi for the ill-timed postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections being for “logistics” reasons flies in the face of logic and portrays Nigeria as being unserious.
“It is therefore inexcusable for a graphic expression of apology to be delayed any further, lest the commission commits further goofing and burns its goodwill incrementally.
“Beyond apologising, however, earnest efforts must be made to ensure that this manner of almost regular, but needless alterations in our electoral processes are discontinued,” Ajulo said in a statement.
According to him, for elections whose dating has been done for over a year and for which INEC, its handlers, has repeatedly expressed preparedness, the news of re-scheduling is unfortunate.
He described as regrettable, the news of a rescheduled elections from the commission at a time when the nation was about commencing the voting process, when election observers from the various parts of the globe were already at duty posts.
“INEC announced the unfortunate alteration without a word of apology to various stakeholders, particularly Nigerian voters who have journeyed to far distances to perform the all important civil rights.
“Citizens who have put in risks of various proportions to get to different locations for voting deserve apologies.
“Observers with calculated expenses, candidates whose budgets have been tampered with, innocent corp members who bears huge risks in the interest of the country, all deserve a word of consolation,” Ajulo added.
The LP chieftain said it was unacceptable for INEC, who solely bore the blame for this embarrassing development to have merely announced a rescheduled without apology.
According to him, the rescheduled elections come with such astromical costs and consequences, hence, the need for penitence and sure apologies from INEC.
“INEC, having shifted its timetable, lacks justification to shut out parties/candidates for failure to meet the deadlines for presenting candidates as seen in Rivers, Zamfara and other states.
“Does INEC consider these dear costs? Does it weigh the worth of these costs and thinks of mitigating them? These are queries INEC must act on.”
INEC shifted the Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections by one week after a meeting, which began Friday evening ended early on Saturday.
The governorship and Houses of Assembly, FCT area council elections, have also been shifted from March 2 to March 9.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, attributed the postponement of all the scheduled elections to logistic and operational problems. (NAN)