Ohanaeze, Others Shocked Over Election Postponement

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo, has described the postponement of the Feb.16 presidential and National Assembly elections as a `rude shock’.

The organisation, however, said that it would not draw conclusions on the matter yet until after the stakeholders meeting slated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to clarify the circumstances.

The Assistant National Publicity Secretary of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Mr Chuks Ibegbu, disclosed this on Saturday in Enugu while reacting to the shift in the dates of the general elections.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the electoral body arising from a meeting of its national commissioners early hours of Saturday announced a shift in the dates of the general elections.

The presidential and NASS elections that were scheduled to hold on Feb. 16 were shifted to Feb. 23 while the governorship and state houses of assembly elections that were slated for March 2 were rescheduled to March 9.

The INEC in its preliminary reports cited logistical challenges as the major reason for the shift in dates.

Ibegbu said that such uncertainty in the implementation of plans was characteristic of human nature.

“Human activities are filled with uncertainties. Therefore, we will not pre-empt INEC until they come out to give us the full details of why the elections were shifted,” he said.

Ibegbu however, said that it was regrettable that the elections did not go on as planned considering the fact that the electoral body had told Nigerians of its readiness for the polls.

Meanwhile, the President of Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network, Mr Olu Omotayo, has said that the sudden postponement was not good for the image of the country.

Omotayo said that much funds and preparations by Nigerians might have gone into the presidential and NASS polls only for the INEC to call it off at the last minute.

He said that many Nigerians including election observers had travelled far and near in readiness for the exercise only to wake up with the shocking news.

“The postponement of the elections shows that INEC was not even ready in the first place. This is not good for the image of the country,” he said.

Omotayo appealed to the electoral body to put its house in order to ensure a smooth exercise in the new dates as announced.

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