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Mixed reactions over Guber/Assembly elections postponement

By Sade Adewale,
Victor Akinkuolie
& Jimoh Ahmed

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Mixed reactions have trailed the postponement of gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections from March 11 to 18 by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

While some commended INEC for the act, others berated the electoral umpire for what they called unpreparedness.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday night had postponed the governorship and state House of Assembly elections scheduled for Saturday, March 11.

The postponement was contained in a statement by INEC’s National Commissioner for Voter Education, Festus Okoye, the statement said the elections will now hold on Saturday, March 18.

He said following the ruling by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (EPT) on the reconfiguration of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) used for the February 25 Presidential election, the Commission met to assess its impact on its preparations for the governorship exercise.

A Board of Trustees member of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Segun Adegoke described the INEC postponement as a welcome idea if it is necessary for them to improve their performance.

Adegoke said if the improvement of BVAS will allow them to do the right thing, they should be allowed to do it. Postponement will not cause any havoc.

State Director, Media and Publicity of the APC, Mr. Steve Otaloro, said the postponement was understandable even though the electoral body was prepared to conduct the elections.

He explained that the commission should have requested for two weeks postponement for it to be on safer side to reconfigure all the BVAS.

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Also, the State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr .Kennedy Peretei described the postponement as a welcome development.

Peretei said the INEC has the responsibility to conduct elections and we should give it space to conduct credible polls.

Special Adviser to Governor, Ekiti State, Oyebanji on Political Matters, Chief Jide Awe described the postponement of Governorship and House of Assembly elections as a welcome development.

He explained that the move would further give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) enough time to get itself prepared and upgrade its Biomedal Voters Accreditation (BVAS).

A public commentator from Epinmi in Akoko Southeast Local Government, Captain Ade Oyepata(Rtd), appealed to politicians to abide by INEC’s decisions to postpone the election to next week so as to have more credible, free and fair gubernatorial and states house of assembly elections.

On the other hand, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State Chief Raphael Adeyanju, condemned the postponement and said that the INEC has failed and disappointed the people in organising free, fair and credible elections.

The PDP Chieftain, who said the postponement was not necessary, noted that the INEC has been preparing for the election in the last few months, while the Federal Government has been able to provide all logistics including the financial logistics.

He explained that the INEC has assured the whole country that the BVAS would work efficiently during the conduct of the elections and it was used on many occasions before the conduct of the elections.

A political stalwart from Owo, Alhaji Kareem Olowosaudi, berated INEC for its unpreparedness after spending billions of naira only to tell Nigerians that it has postponed the elections.

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Olowosaudi said the action of the electoral commission has wasted the time of many Nigerians who have one or two things to do on that day.

According to him, many social engagements and business appointments which have been scheduled for March 18, are now being shifted, thereby causing people huge loss of money, energy and time.

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