The opposition People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar said the postponement of the general election by Independent National Electoral Commission is “obviously a case of the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob.”
“The Buhari administration has had more than enough time and money to prepare for these elections and the Nigerian people were poised and ready to perform their civic responsibility by voting in the elections earlier scheduled for Saturday, 16 February, 2019,” Atiku said in a stateemnt on Saturday.
“By instigating this postponement, the Buhari administration hopes to disenfranchise the Nigerian electorate in order to ensure that turn out is low on the rescheduled date,” he added.
INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, announced the postponement on Saturday at a press briefing morning held at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
“Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan, and the determination to conduct free, fair, and credible elections, the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible,” Yakubu said.
Abubakar alleged that the the election postponement is a bid to frustrate Nigerians from participating in the election.
“Their plan is to provoke the public, hoping for a negative reaction, and then use that as an excuse for further anti-democratic acts,” Abubakar said.
“As such, I call on all Nigerians to be patient. We have tolerated the maladministration of this government for four years. We can extend our tolerance a few more days and give them our verdict via our votes,” he added.
But the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Campaign Organisation has accused the electoral watchdog of conniving with the opposition People’s Democratic Party to scuper the election.
Keyamo said the postponement of the general election is “a huge disappointment.”
“We condemn and deprecate this tardiness of the electoral umpire in the strongest terms possible,” the Director of Media of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Festus Keyamo, said in a statement on Saturday.
He stated that “the rumour mill is agog with the suggestion that this postponement has been orchestrated in collusion with the main opposition.”