By Adekola Afolabi
Gales of reactions have continued to trail the sudden postponement of the general elections earlier scheduled to hold on February 16 and March 2, 2019.
In separate reactions, some eminent Nigerians and politicians described the development as very disappointing and highly discouraging.
First to react is an elder statesman and Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
He said, the news of the postponement came as a surprise to him like many other Nigerians, saying that many prospective voters had travelled far and near in their enthusiasm and readiness to vote.
Chief Fasoranti disclosed that the ugly development may lead to apathy among the electorate.
Also, a chieftain of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Dr. Thomas-Wilson Ikubese, in his reaction, explained that the news of elections postponement caught him unaware, saying many Nigerians have taken serious risk of travelling several miles and kilometers to go and exercise their franchise.
Ikubese described the sudden postponement five hours to the election as a big embarrassment to the country.
“To start with, INEC gave this date over a year ago, there is enough time to plan for the logistics. INEC has never cried out to complain that they were not getting the needed funds for the conduct of these elections. For me, it is a very big embarrassment. It is the voice of Jacob and the hand of Esau. We cannot rule out conspiracy theory in this.
“In 2015 we had a similar incident even though that was not as bad as this, it was not postponed in the morning of the election. In 2011 it was even during the process that it was postponed, but in all of these two cases no one was disciplined, no one was sanctioned and no one was sacked and nobody was prosecuted.
“So, it happened again now because no one was punished for the previous cases. I think someone should be held responsible for something. Why did INEC have to wait until five hours to the elections before they could complain, it means something is wrong somewhere.
On his part, former Chairman of the PDP in Ondo state, Ebenezer Alabi, said that the postponement came as a rude shock to him considering the length of time that was available for INEC to prepare in earnest.
“Don’t forget this election was projected four years ago. INEC released their time-table ahead of time, over a year ago, and so there is no justification whatsoever for the postponement of the election.
“It means they have not prepared very well, it means they were just deceiving Nigerians when they said they were ready for the elections. All Logistics, every request made by INEC was granted by the National Assembly. Nigerians were informed that every fund needed for the elections was made available to them. So, it is a failure on their part and we are very, very surprised and disappointed”, Alabi added.
He challenged INEC to, within the next one week, put their house in order and source for all materials that are not available and immediately begin the distribution to make sure there is no failure again on Saturday.
Also reacting, the state Chairman of the Peoples Party of Nigeria, PPN, Alhaji Aforolagba Hassan, who said a lot of money has been spent by political parties and candidates including prospective voters to travel far and near to go and vote, however, prayed for peaceful elections.
In her own reaction, Mrs `Ronke Akindolire, (APC Senatorial Women Leader, Ondo Central) said the postponement was a great disappointment because everybody in her party (APC) had prepared well for the elections. “It was even more painful because it came at the eleventh hour but God knows all things and He knows why it happened the way it did. We are hoping nothing will cause another postponement again,” she added.
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