Low activities in Abeokuta despite election cancellation
Business and economic activities were at their lowest ebb in Abeokuta, Ogun State, yesterday, despite that the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) postponed the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Many registered voters did not hear of the postponement early, reason some voters trooped to their respective polling units as early as 7 am to cast their votes only to be told that election had been shifted for one week.
The polling centres visited included the Ago-Oba polling unit where former state governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba usually votes and that of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo located at Ita-Iyalode within the Abeokuta metropolis.
Some residents who spoke with The Guardian said they were embarrassed, when they heard the announcement.
One of the respondents, Rafiu Adeleye said: “it is unfair, INEC is unserious. The chairman must resign, after all the commission was given all the money and logistics it asked for. Besides, it had four years to plan”.
Abeokuta was very calm, as shops and markets were closed, streets were emptied of cars, people and motorcycles popularly called “okada”.
When The Guardian visited Abeokuta INEC office, there was no single staff around except security personnel guarding the place.
Former governor of the state, Gbenga Daniel, reacting said the postponement was shocking, because just three days to the election, INEC assured it has put all measures in place for a successful election.
“But clearly, this is not good for the polity. Look at the international observers; some of them have been here for the last two weeks. What do you expect them to do now? It is really not a good day for politics in Nigeria and Africa”.
The National Publicity Secretary, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Azeez Adeyemi, in Abeokuta, called on INEC chairman to resign with immediate effect for gross display of incompetence.
Adeyemi said postponing the election is stealing of the people’s rights, which must not be allowed to stay.
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