But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way…Matthew 13:25
Fellow Nigerians,I address you today with a deep sense of world history and particularly of the history of our great country. In the aftermath of the recently annulled presidential election, I feel, as I believe you yourself feel, a profound sense of disappointment at the outcome of our last efforts at laying the foundation of a viable democratic system of government in Nigeria…As an administration, we cannot afford to leave Nigeria into the Third Republic with epileptic convulsions in its Democratic health…Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, on the 21st of June ’93 after his annulment of the year’s general election result.
Now history has repeated itself in a new dimension as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has shown its “independency” by postponing the greatly anticipated presidential and National Assembly elections just few hours to their commencements. Tell me, which reasonable body would do that? Or why had Nigeria, ‘The Giant of Africa’ allowed what even the ‘Dwarf of Africa’ wouldn’t allow?
It is crystal clear to the blind and audibly loud to the deaf that this is deceit in progress. Or how could a trusted body like INEC, through its Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu have come forth to tell Nigerians that election has been postponed due to logistics difficulties. Why wasn’t that noticed before now or what has the commission being doing since last year when the date was fixed?
My lord, regardless of any reason that could have led to the decision by INEC, the effect of this actions is greatly felt by the citizens. What should be the fate of those who abandoned their businesses to travel far distances so they could vote? Or should someone whose wedding is scheduled for 23rd postponed it? And most of it all, how sure are we that the election would definitely hold on the 23rd?
It seems this has now become a tradition for INEC as Strike has been that of ASUU because in 2015,the election scheduled for February 14 was postponed six days to its commencement with the reason being that of Insecurity. And now, it’s “Logistics difficulties”. When would a commission like INEC learn to be decisive or would it be right to say Nigerians are confused?
My lord, when the election was postponed in 2015, the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, who is now the president of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari criticised the Peoples Democratic Party – led government, saying it was an act of systematic rigging by the party. Fast forward to 2019,the National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has urged the INEC chairman to resign accusing the body of being used by President Buhari to carry out a hidden agenda geared towards turning the election in his favour. What then shall we call this? And my Lords, we are not even talking about the inhumane condition and stress that our hardworking youths on National Youth Service Corps Scheme aiding the INEC officials had to undergo in the name of election!
On the above, INEC has not done well enough to have postponed the February 16 election which had attracted Observant and Nationals from other parts of the world. INEC, should not in any way, be so surprised if Nigerians don’t come out in large numbers to vote on the 23rd of February,2019. I rest my case.
Highly Remarkable! My Lords.
“Life presents you with so many decisions. A lot of times, they are right in front of your face and they are really difficult, but we must make them”– Brittany Murphy
My lord, Nigerians woke up to meet the news of postponement of the General Elections on Saturday morning. To those that received the news on their beds, those who verified the authenticity of the news by themselves at their respective polling units after travelling long distance just to be at home for the elections and to the corps members whom INEC had recruited as ad-hoc staffs who were at the receiving end of the news. The news all came as a shock to all of the aforementioned categories of people and those outside the categories because of the ordeal they all passed through to exercise their voting rights.
While my opposing counsel and millions of Nigerians may blame INEC for their incompetency and choose not to hear the other side before letting mere sayings and opinion becloud their sense of judgement, I choose not to do so! For a commission who printed 421.7 million ballot papers for six scheduled elections, as well as 13.6 million leaves of result forms for the Presidential election alone. Indeed, managing 91 political parties and 23,316 candidates for whom votes will be cast in 119,973 polling units by over 84 million voters is certainly astounding. No doubt. preparations for the 2019 general elections have been extremely tasking for the Commission hence the need for the postponement. Well, Jim Rohn said it all by saying “It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decision.”
According to Punch, senatorial ballot papers for the Niger East and Niger North were missing. It won’t be democratic enough if over 50 percent of the registered voters totaling up to 1,090,700 are disenfranchised. It will be an unpatriotic decision for us as a nation if this happen! This is coming in less than a week when INEC lost 8,966 uncollected PVCs, 14 generators and 755 ballot boxes to inferno in Abia and Plateau States, and over 4,600 card readers – which took almost six months to procure – were also lost to fire at Awka. What better decision could be better than the postponement?
Going further my lord, the postponement of election in Nigeria and the postponement happening at the 59th-minute-of-the-eleventh-hour are not a new thing. In 2011, the National Assembly elections was postponed and also in 2015, elections were also postponed. Going to the continental level, DR CONGO postponed her presidential election in December 2018 as a result of the inferno that gutted the election materials warehouse. Why all the fuss and criticisms meted out to INEC for her decision regarding the postponement of the election? It clearly shows a single thing – Nigerians don’t appreciate development! After all, INEC gave reasons for the postponement.
My opposing counsel may claim many people will be disenfranchised because of INEC decision but do I need to crave her indulgence that emancipation doesn’t come easily. Suffering will surely come but with persistence we shall overcome! I rest my case!