Human Rights lawyer, Dr. Kayode Ajulo has condemned postponement of the presidential and national assembly elections by Independent National Electoral Commission, saying it is unfortunate and embarrassing. He therefore demanded the electoral commission should apologize to Nigerians, foreign stakeholders as well as mitigate cost.
THE FULL TEXT:
The dramatic development that happened to the effect of elections postponement, over night to its conduct, by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is simply unfortunate as well as embarrassing.
As adduced by INEC, the reasons presented as alibi for the ill-timed postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly election being for “logistics” reasons flies in the face of logic and portrays Nigeria as being unserious.
For elections whose dating has been done for over a year and for which INEC, its handlers, has repeatedly expressed preparedness towards the February 16th, 2019, it can only be described as unfortunate and regrettable receiving the news of a reschedule from the commission at a time when the nation was about commencing the voting process, when election observers from the various parts of the globe were already at duty posts.
And INEC announced the unfortunate alteration without a word of apology to the various stakeholders, particularly the Nigerian voters who have journeyed to far distances to perform the all important civil rights.
Citizens who have put in risks of various proportions to get to different locations for voting deserve apologies. Observers with calculated expenses, candidates whose budgets have been tampered with, innocent corp members who bears huge risks in the interest of the country, all deserve a word of consolation.
It is unacceptable for INEC, who solely bears the blame for this embarrassing development to have merely announced a reschedule which comes with such astromical costs and consequences without a word to the effect of penitence and sore apologies.
INEC, having shifted its timetable, lacks justification to shut out parties/candidates for failure to meet deadlines for presenting candidates as seen in Rivers, Zamfara and other States. Does INEC considers these dear costs? Does it weigh the worth of these costs and thinks of mitigating them? These are queries INEC must act on.
It’s therefore inexcusable for a graphic expression of apology to be delayed any further, lest the commission commits further goofing and burns it goodwill incrementally. Beyond apologising, however, earnest efforts must be made to ensure that this manner of almost regular but needless alternations in our electoral processes are discontinued.