Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Northern mouthpiece, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has expressed mixed feelings over the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), saying that Nigerians should bear with the electoral umpire and wait for the next date.
A statement issued by the ACF National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, said though INEC’s action was regrettable, it should ensure that it keeps to the rescheduled date to avoid another disappointment.
According the ACF scribe: “ACF learned with regret the INEC’s decision to re-schedule the elections slated for February 16 and March 2, 2019, citing logistic challenges as the main reasons for the postponement. ACF appreciates the concern raised by INEC regarding its logistic preparation and its constitutional power to reschedule the elections for the express purpose of ensuring credible, free and fair elections that would meet universal acceptance. However, though ACF is not privy to the nature of the challenges and the time INEC noticed them, the forum thinks the shift should have been done earlier in order to reduce cost and inconveniences for all the parties concerned.
“The earlier assurances given to Nigerians by INEC that it would deliver on credible, free and fair elections on schedule, heightened the enthusiasm of Nigerians to look forward to the scheduled 2019 general elections. The political parties and NGOs embarked on vigorous campaigns and sensitisation programmes on the need to have free and fair elections.”