Election Shift Saved Nigeria Huge Embarrassment, Says PDP
THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that contrary to subjective reactions that the postponement of the February election dates was injurious to the nation’s democracy, unfolding events, especially the prevalent huge deficit in the distribution of the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) have shown that the development rather saved the nation and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) a huge embarrassment.
The PDP said all lovers of democracy should appreciate those who raised the alarm that led to the postponement of the elections from the earlier scheduled February 14 and 28 dates, noting that the elections would have been chaotic and far from fair and credible as over 23 million registered voters would have been disenfranchised for no fault of theirs.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in a statement yesterday said “the fact that millions of Nigerians are still struggling to receive their PVCs a week after the February 14 date clearly shows that the Commission would have been thoroughly embarrassed had it gone ahead with the elections on that day.”
Metuh added: “As at February 7, a week to the rescheduled elections, the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega announced that only 45, 829, 808 representing 66.58 per cent of the total number of registered voters have received their PVCs. INEC’s records also showed that 1.3 million cards were yet to be delivered by the printers while 1.1 million stolen cards were yet to be replaced as at that date.
“Whereas INEC gave the impression that all processes including the PVC distribution will be perfected before February 14, it is disturbing that a week after that date, millions of Nigerians are still struggling to receive their cards, which confirms the fears that the Commission was not truly ready for the election in February in spite of its posturing.
“Also, had the Commission gone ahead with the polls on February 14, non-indigenes who were being denied their PVCs in select states such as Lagos and Kano would also have been disenfranchised. The shift gave INEC the time to tackle the issue, which led to the sacking of two of its culpable ad-hoc staff members in Lagos State.”
Metu noted that while briefing the Senate on Wednesday, the INEC Chairman had acknowledged that the postponement was a blessing in disguise, which afforded the Commission and other stakeholders an ample opportunity to perfect all processes for credible elections.
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