PDP, FG Ambush INEC To Postpone February General ElectionFeatured, Latest News, Nigeria 2015 Election Monday, February 9th, 2015
Ayo Balogun, Lagos – Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was ambushed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Federal Government which led to the postponement of the polls.
Fashola expressed disappointment at the rescheduling of the General Elections by INEC on grounds of insecurity, describing it as an abdication by the Federal Government of its primary duty of protecting the life and property of Nigerian citizens.
Fielding questions from newsmen after collecting his Permanent Voters’
Card (PVC) at the State Junior Grammar School, Itolo, Surulere, Lagos, the governor stressed that the postponement for reasons of withheld support from the security agencies was an ambush of INEC by the PDP controlled Federal Government aimed at blackmailing and arm-twisting the electoral body to shift the date for the exercise.
Described the shifting of the elections as a great set back to democracy with “great implications” for the nation, pointed out that the process and outcome of the elections were being watched globally.
“I think that when a country sets in motion a process like this, it ought to know that there would be political and economic consequences and that is why investors and the global community watch what is going on,” the governor said.
Saying the postponement was a move by the ruling party to avoid defeat at the elections, Fashola dismissed the reason of insecurity being touted by the Federal Government noting that countries like Afghanistan, Syria and other countries where war and international conflicts exist have carried out elections even in the face of the situation.
“I don’t see why the Federal Government should give that as a reason since it never objected when INEC set the date of the election. I mean it’s really a very low point for governance in this country because whether we go to elections or not, government will still have a duty to secure this nation and if countries like Afghanistan, Syria and all those countries where there was war and internal conflicts have held elections, I don’t see why not,” he said.
Fashola appealed to disappointed Nigerians and party supporters to remain calm, adding, “This is just a matter of time and the momentum of Change is already on and the momentum is a Nigerian people’s momentum; but it’s just that it would have consequences for us as a nation, the credibility of our governance is regrettably diminished.
“I think that the reality is that INEC was ambushed by the PDP and the Federal Government and I think Nigerians must be disappointed but I use this opportunity to appeal to Nigerians, especially the supporters and members of the APC, to remain calm,” he said.
Reiterating his rejection of insecurity in parts of the country as excuse for the shifting of the polls, Governor Fashola noted, “Don’t even forget, we held elections in 2011. Some of these terror attacks have started as far back as 2010. Where was the ability to guarantee security then? So, I think Nigerians can see beyond this smokescreen, but it is a deferment of the imminent date of Change.”
The governor, who expressed satisfaction that he was able to collect his PVC at last urged those who have not collected theirs to do so before the closing date and hoped that with the postponement of the elections, from Saturday next week to March 28 and April 11, INEC would also consider extending the time within which people could still get their PVCs.
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