‘Postponement within ambits of law’

By Sunmola Olowookere
Following the postponement of the presidential   and  other  elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), some industrial unions leader and olitical analysts have described the action of INEC as one which falls in the purview of the law.

     One of such groups, the Akure chapter of the Nigeria Bar Association NBA  insisted that   INEC having identified some challenges in its bid to conducting credible election, has done well in rescheduling it .

In a statement issued by its chairman, Ola Dan, the action, though described as painful, was deemed necessary.

“More so, the Electoral Act empowers the INEC to take such step where necessary.”

The   statement read in part: “NBA Akure enjoins all Nigerians and our foreign partners who are here as observers to take the election rescheduling as a sacrifice towards strengthening Nigeria’s democracy”..

It would be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met on Friday February 15, 2019 and reviewed its preparations for the 2019 general elections scheduled for Saturday, February 16, 2019 and Saturday,  March 21, 2019.

Following a review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan and the determination to conduct free, fair and credible elections, the Commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible and thereafter postponed the elections.

Also speaking on the issue, a political analyst, Mr. Alabi Oyekan stated that the postponement is the best option for now to avoid inconclusive election as the national chairman of INEC had made the clarity.

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His words “Basically, the election was postponed because some logistic were lacking and some of the sensitive materials for election could not be moved to where they were to be used, particularly to Enugu and some other places.

“This is not a time to shift blames but everybody must support INEC at this critical time of our national life to make sure that our democracy is sustainable”.

He explained that in spite of the controversies which arose from the declaration among the major political parties, what INEC did is ethical and is still within the constitutional provisions.

” The law provides that INEC can postpone election but it has to be within the speculated days. Majorly the Presidential and National Assembly elections. Though this will affect so many things but its a step worth taking.

” Concerning those calling for the resignation of INEC Chairman I think that not the right thing to do now”, he said.

Following the cancellation at the early hours of Saturday, most residents in the Akure metropolis who had plans of either staying indoors or going out to cast their votes had to reschedule.

A beautician along Arakale/Isinksn area of Akure, Arikeade Opeyemi  told The Hope that she had decided to open her shop to customers since the election was postponed because she needed the money.

Also, in the early hours of Saturday, a carpenter was seen completing a roofing project of a house in the company of his son along Ijoka road, Akure.

He too explained that he could not stay indoor with nothing to do while there was no curfew again and expressed confidence he would be able to meet up with his assigned jobs for the week with the elections that were cancelled.

‘Postponement within ambits of law’

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