Posted by News Express | 10 February 2015 | 3,423 times
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, said yesterday that last Saturday’s postponement of the general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was done because President Goodluck Jonathan feared he would lose if the poll holds on February 14.
In a statement, Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, said although the postponement was hinged on security concerns, it was not done because of the national good.
He said the shift may be a prelude to more authoritarian action by the Jonathan administration. The APC leader said if elections could hold in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, why could not in Nigeria where 14 out of 774 Local Government Areas are currently under siege of Boko Haram insurgents.
However, the former governor called on the party supporters and Nigerians to remain calm and do everything to keep the peace, noting that “it is inevitable that change shall come and we shall bring it fairly, democratically and peacefully. They will attempt more tricks before the six weeks is over. Each time, they will be defeated by the power of our commitment to a new day in a new democratic Nigeria.
“What happened last Saturday was actually not a postponement due to security or logistical reasons. What happened was the product of overt political interference undermining the independence of the election management body, INEC. The elections were postponed not because they could safely be held,” he said.
While the mouth was Jega, Tinubu also said, the words were Jonathan, adding “He chose to place our democracy at risk than do what democracy demands by facing and risking the verdict of the people. That he would use our security agencies to provide his excuse only adds insult to injury.
“This act was one desperation of a man in fear of defeat. It was not done for the national good. It was the wrong thing done for the wrong reason by the wrong man.
“The rationale stated by the heavily intimidated INEC chairman does not withstand close scrutiny nor the rigours of logical thought. It is nothing, but a lie draped in a falsehood born by deceit. Jega said he hinged his decision on a purported letter stating that due to an impending offensive, the security agencies will not have the personnel to spare to adequately guard the polling areas in the northeastern states.
Tinubu noted that for the service chiefs to be inserted in the electoral process in this manner and at the 11th hour reveals nothing but a cynical plot to thwart elections.
According to him, President Jonathan has revealed that he only wants elections where the guaranty is that he shall win. This, he insisted, is not the nature of democratic elections.
“Jonathan’s government has purposefully undermined the electoral process because he is not interested in a free and fair honest election where the outcome reflects the sovereign will of the people. He wants an elaborate coronation dressed in the garb of an election. The Nigerian people are too smart for this rude trick.
“This postponement is a smokescreen because what the letter says is that they are advising a postponement of six weeks in the first instance, subject to the amelioration of the security situation in the North-East. This is coming from a Chief of Defence Staff that vowed to crush the insurgents within four months early last year. A year later, nothing has changed. He is now asking Nigerians to believe this government can do in six weeks what it could not do in six years.
“I ask Nigerians to question why these service chiefs decided to launch a major operation a week before the elections? What is new about the security situation in the last two weeks that has not been there these past several years? The date and importance of the election were well publicized. Why did they wait till now? They waited because they were given marching orders by the President to delay the elections,” Tinubu said.
•Adapted from a Daily Sun report. Photo shows Tinubu.
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