Election Postponement: Oshiomhole Queries Timing Of INEC’s Decision
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adams Oshiomhole, has criticised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for postponing the general elections.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting on Saturday in Abuja, the APC chairman raised concern about the timing of the announcement to shift the polls.
“The key issue is not that election was postponed, why at 2am on the day of the elections?” he questioned.
“It does not offer me any comfort, I feel you must go further to apologise to the Nigerian nation because you have embarrassed us as a country, and as a people,” Oshiomhole told the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who was also at the meeting.
He noted that why elections have been postponed in the past, the polls that were postponed in 2015 were at the instance of the then president who attributed the decision to security reasons.
The APC chairman added that the postponement of elections in 2011 was as a result of inconclusive materials, stressing that the nation ought to have learned from mistakes of the past.
He wondered why INEC waited until the day of the elections before realising that there was a need to shift the polls.
Oshiomhole decried that the late announcement by the electoral umpire has resulted to losses on the party of the stakeholders, especially the political parties who have deployed resources for the exercise.
He said, “Serious inconveniences have been caused, Nigerians have been subjected to rude shock, and I think they are extremely cold.
“I think we should be honest; I am shocked, I am disappointed, I am disgusted.”
The APC chairman said, “Mr chairman, with all due respect, tell us why by Wednesday you were not in a position, since you acknowledged that the weather was bad, you should have taken all of these into account and announced this postponement at least 48 hours before the due time so that political parties do not have to mobilise resources across 176,000 polling units.”
In his response, Professor Yakubu admitted the electoral umpire regretted the decision to postpone the elections.
He, however, said the commission was confident that the polls would go on as scheduled until the early hours of Saturday.
The INEC chairman said, “For three days, since Wednesday, many of the commissioners, including myself have virtually been sleeping in Abuja Airport.
“We mobilised all national assets to ensure that we deliver what remains of electoral logistics to locations and to conduct the elections.”