The Centre for Democracy and Development said the postponement of the elections should have come with an apology.
CDD in a statement noted that the nature of the cancellation statement by INEC leaves much to be desired.
” It was cryptic and late, having been issued less than 6 hours to the commencement of voting across the country, and did not include an apology.”
The Centre disclosed that an apology was insensitive to the sacrifices that Nigerians, and the friends of Nigeria had made for the elections.
” Ad-hoc staff like National Youth Service Corps members, the organised private sector, entrepreneurs, schools, political parties, local and international election observers, and all Nigerian citizens were affected”.
It also failed to recognise the huge amount of public funds that would go to waste as a result of this postponement.
The Election Analysis Centre (EAC) of the Centre for Democracy and Development received with shock and disappointment the announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the Presidential and National Assembly Elections earlier scheduled for Saturday 16th February 2019, and the Gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly Elections scheduled for Saturday 2nd March 2019, have been postponed by one week respectively.
“Our surprise stems from repeated reassurances from INEC that it was fully ready to conduct the elections and that there was no possibility of postponement”
“On Friday 15th February 2019, the EAC issued a bulletin on Electoral Governance where it pointed out that although INEC had, in successive elections, bullishly announced its readiness to conduct free, fair and credible elections, each election has been characterised by weak project management (leading to lateness in the procurement of necessary election material), weak logistics management (leading to the late arrival or, in some cases, non-arrival of sensitive election materials), poor contingency planning, inadequate voter education, and reactive (rather than proactive) public communication.”
The Centre for Democracy and Developent is urging INEC to take urgent steps to reassure Nigerians and the international community that it will indeed be ready to conduct free, fair and credible elections on the new dates of 23rd February 2019 for the Presidential and National Assembly Elections and 9th March 2019 for the Gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections.
$We are particularly concerned that certain sensitive materials had already been deployed in various parts of the country and there is an urgent need to assure the public of the security of those materials ahead of the new dates.”
” There is an urgent need to re-energise Nigerians to turn out to vote so as to avoid voter apathy, and we call on civil society and the media to assist in this process”
“We urge all Nigerians not to be deterred by the postponement and to turn out enmasse to vote on the new election dates.”