Elections postponement: a threat to democracy

Elections Commission Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega

Elections Commission Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega

Fellow Nigerians and democrats, The Independent National electoral commission (INEC) has officially announced  the postponement of the much anticipated February 14 and 28 general elections to March 28 and April 11 respectively. Our hearts bleed because our democracy is being threatened by the same individuals that benefited from it.
Obviously, we believe INEC chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega acted under duress due to pressure from the presidency through the security chiefs. Political interference with INEC is totally unacceptable and runs contrary to the principles of INEC, an electoral umpire.
INEC had in a seven-hour meeting with the presidency and the National Council of State assured its readiness for the February 14 and 28 general elections. The Nigerian security chiefs had earlier said at the National Peace Committee for the 2015 election held on the 2nd of February that the military was ready for the general elections expected to commence on February 14. In actual fact, the INEC chairman stated in a press conference that they have made provisions for displaced electorates in the North-East to exercise their civic duties towards electing their candidate of choice.
Further suspicion was established when the National Security Adviser later renounced their military assurance in a letter to INEC that they could not provide security in February as the military would be busy  tackling the Boko Haram insurgency. The ruling party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alongside the presidency had been leading the fight for the postponement of the election. Undeniably, the PDP would not have been acting against the wish of the president.
Many Nigerians, civil society group, human right activists, as well as the U.S. Department of State frown at this unfortunate coup-like postponement. Countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq conducted general election despite facing more violence than Nigeria. Like the vice presidential candidate, Prof. Osibanjo posited, “If all the forces of Nigeria come together and say we cannot guarantee security in Nigeria for 2 days – February 14th and 28th, something is wrong” Besides, if the President Jonathan led government could not defeat Boko Haram in 6 years, how would they achieve such feat in just 6 weeks?
Kamar Balogun
Secretary, APC Scandinavia Finland
Photo: bellanaija.cdn.ng
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