One Week not enough to sort out logistics problem – Godwin Abbe

How did the news of the postponement of the elections come to you?

It’s unfortunate; the postponement is unfortunate; very unfortunate. I don’t know what we will look like in the eyes of the international community and I am not sure of what the ordinary Nigerian would think about leadership in this country; whether it would not further erode the confidence that is already weakened.

The postponement came to many Nigerians as a rude shock because INEC had assured that everything was set, and it had received all the funds it needed.

If INEC knew that they were going to postpone the election, they would have told everybody at least a day or two before so as to reduce the efforts that most Nigerians have put in. And as it stands now, are they sure that that one week that they ’ve said, they would be able to solve the problem? Unless the logistics problem existing is man-made, that is when they can determine that otherwise one week will not be enough to be able to solve the logistics problem nation-wide because I hear most of the states are affected. Will one week be enough?

Godwin Osagie Abbe Photo
Godwin Osagie Abbe

Should we really be talking about logistics problem when INEC had four years to plan for this election?

Well, like every other human endeavour especially in a developing society, discussing logistics problem would be understandable. In every plan, there could be unforeseen circumstances that may arise. But the fact that it’s affecting this very serious national exercise is a shame! A big shame. 

Some are calling on INEC Chairman to resign. How do you react to that?

No, the person who is replacing him, is he better? Are they bringing him from the moon? If he resigns, then they would postpone the election sine die because the person to replace him will have to study the situation for no less than three months. Is that what they are saying? It means that May 29will not be in focus any more if the man resigns and you put someone else in there. No matter how brilliant he is, he needs three months to be able to continue from where this present fellow has failed. So, I don’t think resignation is the answer. They should give him the chance to handle it.

It is believed in some quarters that the ruling party had seen the hand-writing on the wall hence they panicked and postponed the election just as it was done in Edo 2016 governorship. What is your take on that?

When things like this happen, you cannot stop speculations now, more so when (Adams) Oshiomhole is the national chairman of APC. So, whatever story they concoct about him, they will just buy it. If somebody has been accused of an offence before and he walks through the street where a similar offence is committed, the logical thing is to say he’s the one even if he’s innocent  

Some people were saying he was at the INEC office last night and they were wondering what he was doing there.

All sorts of rumours will be expected at this time. I don’t think we should listen to all that. They are trying to call a dog a bad name so that they can hang it. He too wants the nation to succeed because he has children and grandchildren and we are all fighting for the future of this country. It’s our grandchildren we are all struggling for. We are saying our children who are in their 20s and 30s, we should hand over something better to them and that is why we are all worried; very worried indeed. With democratisation process now on course; we cannot get it right over-night, but a lot of people think that by now, we should be doing better than what we are doing now.

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