Joe Effiong, Uyo
The national legal adviser of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Emmanuel Enoidem, has described the postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections barely four hours to scheduled time as “a monumental show of shame, gross embarrassment, compounded disgrace and most humiliating and damaging to our national image.”
In a statement he made available to our correspondent, Enoidem said the embarrassment had even been made worse by “the air of callousness, casualness and flimsiness that punctuated the text that conveyed this most grievous, disingenuous and thoughtless decision.
“It will be recalled that the presidential and National Assembly elections are held in Nigeria every four years. This simply means that INEC has four solid years to plan, organise and conduct this very important national event.”
Enoidem wondered how INEC which announced its very expensive timetable more about two years ago would now have the so-called logistics problems leading to the postponement of election when it had enough time to plan, and had had the approval of the highest in the history of the nation since 1999.
“This postponement may have achieved the aim of postponing the humiliating defeat of Buhari for seven days but it certainly will not avert the doom on 23/01/19. This is a debt he must pay as Nigeria and Nigerians can’t afford another of Buhari’s four years in power.
“This postponement comes with very high cost both in financial, socio-economic and psychologic terms. It is not as simple and innocuous as INEC wants us to believe. The nation will pay dearly for it. The candidates and their political parties have been wrecked financially, economically, spiritually and psychologically.
“This decision has made the political system just like any other aspect of our national life under the Buhari’s government most unpredictable, most uncertain and plagued.
It is indeed a show of shame that the culprits: INEC and the Buhari’s presidency must be made to pay for,” Enoidem said.
On his part, the Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Mr Onofiok Luke, who is contesting for the Etinan Federal constituency seat, however, appealed to the people, especially, his supporters to be calm as see the postponement as God’s plan which will work out better for them.
“Let us not despair. Let us stay strong, courageous and focused on the goal of giving to Etinan Federal constituency a credible representative whose voice will never be compromised. I urge our supporters to go about their normal businesses, be law-abiding, and wait patiently on INEC to perfect the process that will strengthen our democracy and deepen representative governance in our dear country,” Luke said.
But the former Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Chief Nduese Essien, said: “Postponing the election is an embarrassment to the nation and further confirms the cluelessness, ineptitude and incompetence of APC at all levels.
“It also exposes INEC, as constituted by APC, to be incapable of superintending over a credible electoral process in the state.
“It took APC 6 months to select ministers, yet most of them have turned out to be very clueless. The president himself is ineffective. The inadequacies of the APC-led Federal government have been seen in the failure to fight corruption, restore the economy and tackle insecurity. INEC has no clue on elections.”
According him, “the idea of losing 2 million votes in Kano, through the already thumb-printed ballots confiscated, is enough frustration and most of their rigging plans have been exposed. Even the plans of the Warsaw Director (Senator Godswill Akpabio) that elections will be won in three hours, have been uncovered.”