At the early hours of today, we received with shock the press statement of the INEC chairman that the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly General elections slated to hold today has been postponed to next week Saturday, then the Governorship and States House of Assembly slated for 2nd March postponed to 9th March. Coming just some few hours to the election, we are forced to ask, why the delay at this Eleventh hour? Spanish writer, Miguel De Cervantes captured it succinctly when he said, “Delay always breeds danger; and to protract a great design is often to ruin it.”
The INEC Chairman based the delay on issues relating to logistics, is it that INEC was never aware of its shortcomings on it’s own logistics until few hours to the election?!! This is an outright display of incompetence, that smacks of foul play. Even in 2015 when the Professor Jega led INEC wanted to postpone the General elections from February to March, on a more stronger basis of security challenges across the Country as at then, the announcement of the postponement came no less than a week to the elections then slated for February 14th.
This postponement is coming at a time everything is already in place, higher institution students working as INEC adhoc staffs across the Country have already travelled to their respective polling units areas, election observers from various Countries across the world are already in the Country, numerous Nigerians have all journeyed back to their towns and villages, abandoning their places of work, all for the purpose of voting in today’s election. What exactly is the problem with Nigeria for goodness sake?
More confusing is the immediate drama which followed, the ruling APC via its campaign spokesperson accused the Opposition PDP of being responsible for the postponement, the PDP also accusing the ruling APC of instigating the postponement as it plans to rig the election. For heaven’s sake, who is deceiving who??
At least in 2015 the Good luck Jonathan’s administration admitted responsibility for the then postponement of the election, now the ruling party is not only denying responsibility, but also accusing the opposition party of being responsible, we are then forced to ask, where then did the INEC chairman derived the powers to postpone an election just slated for some few hours away? Can the Government in all sincerity, say it has no hands in the postponement, given the letter from the Attorney General of the federation to the INEC chairman asking him to postpone the National Assembly, Governorship and States House of Assembly elections??
We are truly disappointed with this development, in saner climes, deep investigations and serious inquiry would immediately follow suit, but in a country like ours, where it is one drama today, and another tomorrow, we can only pray and hope it is for the best, we wanted eating the yam “as e dey hot” only God Almighty knows what will take place from today till the next postponed date. Politics is terrible, politicians are more terrible.
Munir Ishaq Morality writes from faculty of law, Bayero University Kano. He can be reached via +2348147841027