Polls Postponement : INEC, is to blame for its inability to plan ahead for problems that will Follow-Prof Olagoke

Inec 3At about 3.00 Am on Saturday morning, 16 February, 2019, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) Prof. Mahmood Yakubu  announced the postponement of the general elections scheduled for the same day by one week while that of the governorship and state Houses of Assembly were shifted from March 2 to March 9, 2019. 

Prof. Yakubu also stated that the postponement was due to logistic challenges the Commission was contending with. Prof. Yakubu  refused to entertain any questions from journalists after the announcement.

 Interestingly, President Muhammadu Buhari had made a national broadcast some days, before the INEC Chairman's announcement. 

Indeed, the utterances and body language of President Buhari indicates that he is not ready to relinquish power.

Sadly, most hit by the election postponement, are Nigerians  who traveled long distances to the places they registered for the elections for the sole purpose of voting for the candidates of their choice.

What becomes of the huge financial resources that have gone into the postponed elections for law enforcement and security agencies ?

Indeed, there is more to the postponement than meets the eyes.

In this interview with People, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabiut Olagoke says  that INEC, is to blame for its inability to  plan ahead for  problems the postponement has brought about. Excerpts :

What is your reaction to the postponement of the general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) ?

Nigerians ought to have expected  that the postponement was imminent, if the happenings and some events bothering on safety and security were to be considered ab initio for almost six months, the allegations of the influx of illegal weapons into the country had been reported, not into the hands of security agencies, but into the hands of invisible Nigerians.AbjIntelligence gathering ought to have exposed the sponsors of the illegal arms and the purpose they imported it. But this is not so.

One should not be surprised at the report of various killings in political campaigns, most especially the ones involving the ruling party and the main opposition party.

INEC's claim that the postponement was due to  logistic challenges, should be taken in two ways, partly, Nigerians ought to accept it, if one considers the recent burning of INEC offices in some states of the Federation. 

The allegations that foreign observers intend to interfere with the electoral process, must not be ignored, even though the statement credited to the Kaduna state Governor was overzealous. 

Abj 1The allegation made against former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), are equally significant, if one considers the various interventions of the United States of America in countries, such as Egypt, Libya and Iraq, to be a voyage of disastrous consequences for the affected nations.

The question now is that when are Nigerians going to be truly independent ?

The issue of the postponement of the general elections could therefore be regarded  as the usual economic waste, when one considers the logistic issue of security and economic importance, regarding the observers, party agents and INEC officials, that had left their places of origin to travel to such a far distance, with the accompanying risks. They now have to return home due to the sudden postponement.

Who is to be responsible for their remuneration and compensation ?                            Abj 3

On the other hand, the postponement will certainly be to the advantage of the major political parties to consolidate their strategies and gains, most especially in the area of decampment for sale and possible onslaught to prey on  91-2 political parties which would be more of surrogates or buffer solution, to boost the chances of  each of the two major political parties, the All Progressives Congress(APC) and the PDP at the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The blame on the part of INEC, is on its inability to proactively plan for exigency of this nature to the extent that any form of disequilibrium in the Chemistry of our political activities ought to have been addressed at the preventive levels  of solution, not to nosedive into a very costly postponement, which upon final analysis , must have resulted into a huge economic waste, pockets of waste of lives and property and the general state of frustration for all Nigerians, most especially those who are eligible to vote, into another state of apathy.

INEC and the National Orientation Agency must rise into action to disabuse the minds of Nigerians, so that they would be able to turn out en mass to perform their civic responsibilities, in electing our new leaders for the next four years for us.

Above all, we should count ourselves lucky, that we have the retired military Generals as determinant factors of the country's political destiny. They are to blame for not giving Nigerians the necessary legacy for political stability and sustainable development, making us to grope in the darkness of life, looking for a messiah.

Apart from this, we need to appreciate the fact that the ruling party and the main opposition party are not green horns when it comes to the conduct of elections, which in the annals of our history has always been fraught with  rigging.

What Nigerians should expect is not their rhetoric of politics, which we are already used to with dashed hopes, but that this election should be conclusive, free, fair and credible. The eventual winners should be people and development focused and must have zero tolerance for institutional indiscipline and corruption.

The appeal is that votes must count for the people to wholeheartedly support the cause of the government that shall eventually emerged.



Prof. Sabitu Olagoke Nigeria Election Prof. Mahmood Yakubu President Muhammadu Buhari

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