Nigerians Still Reacting to Election Postponement

There is no doubt that the postponement of the general elections by one week by the Independent National Electoral Commission came as a rude shock to majority of Osun residents. In this vox pop, Adewale Olayemi sought the views of a cross section of residents on the controversial vote shift by the electoral umpire.

Waheed Lawal, Human Rights Activist.

Waheed Lawal

“Well, INEC should brace up and realize that Nigerians expect nothing short of a free, fair and credible election from the Commission. It is already four years since Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu became INEC chairman and he had all the time to plan for this election. So on 23 February, we don’t expect any excuses from him again. I will implore Nigerians to be patient and give INEC the benefit of the doubt to deliver free, fair and credible elections.”

Sunday Akere, House of Representative aspirant, Ila/Boluwaduro/Ifedayo Constituency on the platform of Action Democratic Party.

Sunday Akere

“The news of the postponement came to me as a rude shock. But we are well aware that they have the right to postpone if they know it will jeopardize the conduct of a free and fair election.
For me, this postponement that came few hours to the election is quite unfortunate. Political parties and the voters were ready for the election. Now, the political parties will have to mobilize another resources to run the election. 
I appeal to Nigerians not to be dejected, they should come out with full force next Saturday and vote for the party of their choice.”

Kayode Adebisi, Lawyer and Human Rights Activist.
“I believe that by virtue of the powers conferred on INEC by the Constitution and Electoral Act 2010, the election umpire has the power to postpone any election. However, such postponement must be based on cogent and verifiable reasons such as security, inadequacy of logistics among others. According to INEC, the election was shifted due to logistics and security reasons, particularly in Northern parts of the country and that all stakeholders were carried along before the decision was taken.
I could recall that during the tenure of Prof. Jega, an election was postponed for more than a month. If the essence is about allowing a substantial number of eligible voters to exercise their franchise so that a free, fair and credible election could be guaranteed. So be it.”

Raji Rasheed Olayiwola, GSM credit card dealer.
“As far as I am concerned, every sensible human being should support INEC because that is the right thing to do.
We have been hearing that there were outbreak of violence in so many parts of the country. I also know that some politicians are so desperate to kill, maim and do everything possible to win.
I am happy that the election was postponed because it will frustrate the plans of these desperate politicians. For us in Osun, we are luck that we don’t have violent elections here.”

Adebisi Temitope, a shop owner at Oba Oyewale Matanmi Shopping Complex, Olonkoro, Osogbo.
“It is not good that the election was suddenly postponed. We were ready to go to the polls, when we heard that they had postponed it. But there was nothing we could do about it.
At least you can see that most of the shops in this complex are not opened for business. We have accepted it and will prepare for voting next week.”

Bola Ajao, Publicity Secretary, PDP Osun state.
“Well, we received the news of the postponement like every other Nigerian as a rude shock.
As a party that has prepared and mobilized the people, we have done all that is necessary to face the election so that Nigerians can freely make their choice.
We know that the government of the day wanted to win at all costs and this is one of their rigging plans. We have listened to Prof. Yakubu on the reasons for the postponement, but we are yet to be convinced. 
About campaigns, the law says it should continue till 24 hours to the election. But when the question on the campaign was put to the INEC chairman, he was silent about it.
We are fully ready for the elections and so confident of victory.”

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