Edo guber: Postponement will not affect election outcome – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday said that the postponement of the state governorship election to Sept. 28 would not negatively affect the outcome of the poll.

Mr Sam Olumekun, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC) in Edo, said this at the commission’s organised Stakeholders’ meeting on the election on Thursday in Benin.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that INEC postponed the governorship election from Sept. 10 to Sept. 28 following security advice from the Police and the Department of State Services (DSS).

But Olumekun said the commission was ready and willing to conduct free, fair, credible and conclusive election for Edo people.

The REC, therefore, appealed to all the security agencies to deploy their personnel early enough to man their duty posts.

The Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 5, Benin, Mr Isaac Eke, said that security agencies would do everything humanly possible to give protection to the people during and after the election.

Eke assured all the 19 political parties of a level playing ground during the electoral process.

The newly-deployed Commissioner of Police to Edo, Mr Haliru Gwandu, also appealed to political parties and their supporters to eschew violence and intimidation of electoral officials and ad-hoc staff whose primary duty was to conduct the elections.

Gwandu urged the people to stop seeing election as a do-or-die affair.

“Those who want to invite thugs from neighbouring states should jettison the idea as security operatives are on ground to nip such plans in the bud,” he warned.

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.

PDP Faults Postponement Of FCT Council Elections

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed concern over the postponement of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Area Council elections, alleging that it was done at the instance of a particular political party.

The party said there is no valid reason for the shift, except that the PDP and its candidates are more popular and are set to sweep the elections in the area councils.

A statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, on Wednesday said it is aware that the postponement is part of the moves to deny the PDP of its imminent victory at the polls.

“Intelligence reports available to us indicate that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was instigated to shift the election merely because that particular political party realized that our candidates were going to sweep the polls.

“It is indeed incontrovertible that most Nigerians from all walks of life residing in Abuja are in support of the PDP and are ready to express this support overwhelmingly at the FCT elections. The shift, we know is a fallout of the panic and conspiracy against the PDP.

Credit: Thisday

10 Registered Political Parties That Kicked Against Election Postponement

A group of ten registered political parties has kicked against the postponement of the general elections. The parties alleged that characters that scuttled the June 12, 1993 general election have coalesced again and are about to do the same thing for their selfish ends.
The political parties are the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), KOWA Party, the HDP, Accord Party, Mega Progressive Peoples Party, Social Democratic Party, United Peoples Party and the Democratic Peoples Party.

Speaking on behalf of the other parties, National Chairman of PDM,  Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, said the call for the postponement of the general elections has nothing to do with the challenge of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the election or the pace of distribution and collection of Permanent Voters Card (PVCs).

He accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of orchestrating the call for the postponement out of fear of losing power for the first time since 1999.

Read More: New Telegraph

APC Warns Against Postponement of Election (Read Full Statement)


You will recall that in our press statement of Jan. 22nd 2015, our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), strongly rejected the call by the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, for the postponement of next month’s general elections, ostensibly to give more time to INEC to distribute the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).

In spite of this, we have noted with dismay that the Jonathan Administration has continued to pursue the plot to shift the elections. That plot in itself is one of the two-pronged approach being pursued by the Administration to either shift or scuttle the elections, which are scheduled for Feb. 14th and 28th.

The other is the campaign for an Interim Government. It is important to state here that for the APC as a party, both options represent the Devil’s Alternative (apologies to British writer Frederick Forsyth, who has a book by the same title), and are totally, absolutely unacceptable to us under any circumstance.

When President Goodluck Jonathan met with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday here in Lagos, the President said he told the visiting US top diplomat that ”the May 29th handover date is sacrosanct”. We say this is not reassuring enough, and that for us, the February 14th and 28th dates for the elections are as sacrosanct as the handover date of May 29th.

Therefore, we are more assured by the call made by Mr. Kerry, that the elections should be held on time as scheduled. Nothing short of that will be acceptable to our party.

We are also satisfied with the assurance by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that it is ready for the elections. The electoral body has also said it will continue with PVC distribution until the eve of the elections. Therefore, the orchestrated campaign about INEC not being ready for the elections is sheer baloney!

Now, make no mistakes about it, we are aware of the limitless capacity of the PDP and the Jonathan Administration for anti-democratic and desperate actions in pursuit of selfish motives that have nothing to do with the interest of the good people of Nigeria. We are aware of the clandestine moves, including reaching out to various interest groups and hiring talking heads to make the television rounds, being made by the Administration to get the elections shifted.

The Jonathan Administration’s apologists are hiding under the facade that millions of Nigerians will be disenfranchised if the elections should proceed as scheduled. Again, they are using the terrorist attacks in some parts of the North to advance their election shift argument. We sincerely hope the recent escalation of the Boko Haram attacks, and the siege on Maiduguri on Sunday, a day after President Jonathan campaigned in the city, are not connected to this sophistry. All in all, these arguments in support of election postponement is a smokescreen. The truth is that the forthcoming elections terrify the PDP and the Jonathan Administration to such an extent that they are looking for ways to postpone or scuttle the polls.

If indeed the Jonathan Administration is genuinely concerned that many Nigerians have not received their PVCs, let it declare a three-day public holiday to give working Nigerians the opportunity to collect their PVCs. Let the government work with INEC to ensure that the PVCs are distributed at the polling units. If these steps are followed, within five days, the distribution would have been completed.

In conclusion, gentlemen, let me summarize the stand of our party, the APC, regarding next month’s general elections:

1. APC is ready for the elections, and under no circumstance will we accept a postponement. For us, Feb. 14th and 28th are as sacrosanct as May 29th, the handover date. The government has had four years to prepare, and the dates for the elections were announced over a year ago, therefore there is no going back now.

2. We note that the PDP has also said it is ready for the polls. That is good news. Let them now end their clandestine push for either postponement or the formation of an interim government, stop engaging in scare and scandal mongering and dwell on issues, ahead of the polls.

3. We are satisfied with the assurances by INEC that it is ready for the polls, and we call on the Jonathan Administration to give the electoral body all the support and resources it requires to organize successful elections.

4. Any postponement of the election will mean that INEC is not independent and that it is being dictated to by the Federal Government, a position that will hurt the credibility of the electoral umpire.

5. Finally, any postponement on the basis of the insurgency in the North-east will represent a victory for the terrorist group Boko Haram, and will create a constitutional logjam that will take Nigeria back to 1993. Believe me, we have travelled that route before and it was not pleasant.

Gentlemen, I thank you

Alhaji Lai Mohammed
National Publicity Secretary
All Progressives Congress (APC)
Lagos, Jan. 26th 2015

Credit: vanguardngr.com