Posted by News Express | 17 February 2019 | 1,247 times
It has now been confirmed beyond any reasonable doubt by the eleventh hour (early morning hours of the election day) postponement of the election that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) seems never ready to conduct any free, fair and credible election but to merely allocate figures to the ruling political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
INEC has no excuse whatsoever not to deliver on this national assignment considering the humongous amount of money allocated to INEC for the purpose, among other factors. INEC even got more than they bargained for and even excess for the technology they need but may never deploy based on the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the new Electoral Bill into law.
The national elections scheduled for yesterday (Saturday, February 16, 2019) is not an emergency! INEC had clear four years to prepare for this election and up to Saturday morning, the election day, they have been boasting of their high level preparedness, thus giving credence to the much speculated rigging plan of the APC-led government of Muhammadu Buhari by this unthinkable postponement in the wee hours (about 3am) when people were expected to be sleeping.
So, what has suddenly happened or changed that INEC was not aware of hitherto that made INEC to suddenly postpone a national election on the election day?
More disheartening is the fact that INEC didn’t even consider it necessary to apologise to Nigerians and the international community in their military coup-like broadcast for the pains and inconveniences this last-minute cancelation/postponement may have caused them.
Meanwhile, for emphasis, election is not an emergency! It has a Constitutional and the Electoral Act framework including timing and schedules.
Only two days earlier, the controversial Attorney General (or is it the APC Chief Law Officer), we learn, ordered INEC, a supposedly independent body, to postpone the election for reasons yet to be explained.
A few hours to election, some people were apprehended with bags of thumbprinted ballot papers in favour of APC on motorcycles in Kano. Just on the eve of election?! INEC simply defended it by saying that the thumbprinted ballot papers apprehended were sample ballot papers. Sample ballot papers?
Why on the eve of the election day? Samples for whom?
Why only Kano of all places given their well-known antecedence at very high wired elections manipulations and rigging as evident particularly in the 2015 presidential election?
Is Kano the only state in Nigeria that need to be so “enlightened” with already thumbprinted ballot papers ‘samples’ and all thumbprinted in favour of only APC on the eve of election day?
Why on motorcycles? When has commercial motorcycles become the official vehicles of INEC to convey sensitive election materials?
It was earlier reported that INEC planned to postpone the election in obedience to the directive of Muhammadu Buhari’s government through the controversial Attorney General ostensibly to allow them perfect their failed rigging plan to which INEC came out to vehemently deny. So, what suddenly changed?
When people say that this APC-led government in grossly incompetent, clueless, mischievous, insincere, corrupt and have no regards for the rule of law among other ills, do you need any further proof?
Major-General Muhammadu Buhari made a broadcast as President a few hours to the election to “assure” the people of a free, fair and credible election today only for the election not to hold on flimsy excuse. Where then is the much taunted integrity of Mr Integrity of non-existent integrity?!
This eleventh hour postponement of the election on the election day for whatever reason is, to say the least, very saddening, shameful, painful, disappointing and highly unfortunate.
Let me also use this medium to salute the courage of all well-meaning Nigerians and the international community for our collective resilience, determination, commitment and alertness for effectively frustrating the latent rigging machineries of this APC-led government to retain power by all foul means.
I urge Nigerians not to give up. No genuine freedom and gain come without some pains.
To vote out this reckless APC led government of Muhammadu Buhari is a task that must be done!
The more they postpone the election, the more we should all get determined to vote them out and make our votes to count.
They can only delay but, they cannot deny us our inalienable rights ad infinitum.
Nigeria must be redeemed and the time to do so is now.
•Professor Echefuna ’Rotimi ONYEBEADI
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