As indignation, surprise, and disbelief continue to dominate reactions to the postponement of yesterday’s presidential and National Assembly elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the commission has said there is no political motive behind its action. INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, stated this at a press conference yesterday in Abuja. Yakubu cited logistic problems as reason for the deferment of the general election to February 23.
The electoral body had in the early hours of Saturday announced its decision to reschedule the general election by one week, with Presidential and National Assembly elections earlier scheduled for February 16 shifted to Saturday, February 23, while Governorship, State Assembly and FCT Area Council elections earlier scheduled for March 2 would now hold on Saturday, March 9.
But many Nigerians were not persuaded of the cogency of the commission’s basis for the election postponement.
However, in a further explanation at a press conference yesterday, INEC insisted the postponement of the election was not politically motivated and had nothing to do with security concerns. It said the shift was unfortunate, yet necessary in the overall interest of Nigeria.
But, fielding questions from journalists in Abuja yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), expressed his disappointment at the postponement of the polls, saying the action underscores INEC’s inefficiency.
The presidential candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Moghalu, Senate President Bukola Saraki, and APC national leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, were among prominent Nigerians who reacted to the poll shift yesterday.