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President Buhari has said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) owes Nigerians detailed explanation for its decision to delay the general elections.
Speaking at the All Progressives Congress (APC) emergency caucus meeting at the party secretariat, President Buhari said:
‘‘Definitely, the reasons such incompetence manifested have to be explained to the nation. After the elections, we have to know exactly what happened and who is responsible.
‘‘The constitution and the laws protect INEC but they must not take us for granted. If for example, the National Assembly refused to approve what INEC wanted, then INEC would have more than enough reasons why they couldn’t perform.
‘‘If the time for the constitutional elections, four years after was not obeyed by the government and the system, INEC will have a case. But we do not understand why this inefficiency and we have to move into details after the election to find out who’s responsible.’’
Noting that the electoral commission had all the time and resources it needed to conduct the polls, the President said there was no justification ‘‘to wait for only six hours to postpone the votes’’, in the early hours of February 16.
The President also used the occasion to warn all political actors to ensure an environment free from intimidation and violence for all eligible citizens to peacefully cast their ballot on the Election Day. The President announced that he has directed security agencies to contain any acts of lawlessness before, during and after the elections.
‘‘We are not going to be blamed of trying to rig the elections. I want Nigerians to be respected. Let them vote whoever they want across the parties. I am not afraid, I have gone to all 36 states and Abuja and I think I have enough support across the country,’’ he said.
President Buhari urged all APC supporters to vote peacefully in the upcoming elections.
‘‘We have so much to do and I think we should again go back to our loyal, committed people in all constituencies. If anything happens we have nobody to blame. We have to tell our constituencies that they have to be patient and act in a very responsible way by going peacefully to vote again, and they should depend on party representatives at each of the 176,000 polling units,’’ he said.
The younger brother of a popular Zamfara blogger, Shafaatu M Bala, was kidnapped on his way from Tsafe to Gusau, Zamfara state.
According to reports, the kidnappers are demanding N15 million ransom to release the young man.
Read the post by a concerned Facebook user below:
“Jibril M Bala, a Junior brother to Shafaatu M Bala a popular Zamfara lady blogger was kidnapped on Friday on his way from Tsafe to Gusau Zamfara state, and his captors demanded 15 millions for as ransom.
From the audio tape conversation between the kidnappers and the only sister to Jibril Shafaatu she sorrowfully shed tears bagging the captors to collect one million and release the boy but they insist on 15 millions.
Wallahi Shafaatu has no hundred thousand, she’s junior cadre civil servant, she has no way to produce 15 millions. Let’s help them Don Allah
The spate of incessant killings and kidnappings is on the rise in Zamfara State, it is now a daily occurrence in many parts of the state, people are being abducted in broad daylight, bandits are audaciously enforcing taxes on villagers, IDPs are everywhere.
What can we do to help Jibril rescued.
We pray for Allah to reunite Jibril and all people in captivity to their families.”
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has urged the Federal Government to declare a two or three-day public holiday so as to enable people travel to cast their vote.
NLC stated this as they expressed disappointment at INEC’s decision to postpone the presidential election last Saturday.
NLC said via a statement by its president, Comrade Ayuba Wabba:
“We at the Nigerian Labour Congress join other Nigerians in expressing our shock at the last minute postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled to hold on Saturday, February 16, 2019,” Wabba said.
“We share in the pains of those who in an uncommon show of patriotism, had to travel long distances to perform their civic duty. We similarly understand the outrage of those who had incurred huge and unquantifiable logistic costs. No explanation will be good enough given INEC’s repeated assurances and the zeal of Nigerians to cast their vote.
“However, given the fact that had the election taken place, a huge number of Nigerians would have been disenfranchised on account of gross and wide-spread logistic deficit, the postponement, as painful as it is, is a lesser evil of the two.”
The NLC however urged Nigerians to brace up for the rescheduled election and not to be disillusioned.