Call for postponement of Edo election suspicious – TMG

The Transition Monitoring Group has faulted the call by security agencies on the Independent National Electoral Commission to postpone the Edo State governorship election.

The Department of State Services and Nigerian Police Force had on Wednesday called on INEC to shift the election, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday due to threats by insurgents and extremists.

But the Chairperson, TMG, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, said the call for the postponement of the election was suspicious.

“The advice by the DSS to postpone the Edo 2016 election is suspect and one must be quick to say that it is coming rather late, especially because the election will take place in less than 72 hours,” she said.

“One would have expected that such advice would have been issued earlier. Such announcement, close to election, could also trigger apathy by voters and capable of building tension in the state, which can lead to electoral violence, which they are supposedly trying to prevent.”

The President, Campaign for Democracy, Usman Bako, however, called for caution on the call to postpone the election by security agencies.

The Peoples Democratic Party, which expressed shock at the call, rejected it and urged INEC to do the same.

INEC, which said it was fully prepared for the conduct of the poll, had also expressed surprised by the call for the exercise to be shifted.

The National Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, said it would take a decision after holding consultations with relevant stakeholders.

“Whatever the case, the commission will take a decision swiftly and communicate it to the Nigerian public,” he said on Wednesday.

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