The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has pointedly accused the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari of instigating the postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled to hold today.
In a statement he personally signed in the early hours of Saturday, Atiku said, “As you know, the Independent National Electoral Commission has announced a postponement of the elections until 23 February and 9 March respectively.
“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.
“This postponement is obviously a case of the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob. 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. Nigerians must frustrate their plans by coming out in even greater numbers on Saturday, 23 February and Saturday, 9 March respectively.
“Knowing that the Nigerian people are determined to reject them, they are desperate and will do anything in their power to avoid their rejection by the Nigerian people.
“Their plan is to provoke the public, hoping for a negative reaction, and then use that as an excuse for further anti-democratic acts.
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.”
Atiku asked Nigerians to maintain the peace and still endure to come out to vote on the new dates.
He said, “Maintain the peace and be law abiding. Do not react to this provocation with anger, violence or any action that might be exploited by those who do not want this election to hold. Remain calm. We will overcome this. You can postpone an election, but you cannot postpone destiny.
“Please come out to vote on Saturday, 23 February and Saturday, 9 March respectively. Frustrate those who do not want this election to hold by coming out in very large numbers. That is the best antidote to their plans.
“May God bless you and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
APC Condemns Postponement Of Elections, Asks INEC To Be Neutral
Meanwhile the All Progressives Congress (APC) has also condemned the postponement of the general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The party faulted the decision of the electoral umpire in a statement on Saturday by the spokesperson for its Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Festus Keyamo.
According to “We condemn and deprecate this tardiness of the electoral umpire in the strongest terms possible,” he said.
“President Muhammadu Buhari had since cooperated fully with INEC by ensuring everything it demanded to conduct free and fair elections were promptly made available to it.”
“We do hope that INEC will remain neutral and impartial in this process as the rumour mill is agog with the suggestion that this postponement has been orchestrated in collusion with the main opposition,” he alleged.
“It is in the light of the above that we wish to appeal to Nigerians and our supporters to be patient, calm and resolute despite this temporary setback.
“Let us not give anyone … the opportunity to plunge this nation into a crisis, which is what they earnestly desire.”