Kwara, Jigawa PDP candidates flay INEC for ‘double speak’, allege foul play
Kwara State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate, Rasak Atunwa and his Jigawa Central Senatorial district counterpart, Mustapha Sule Lamido, yesterday lampooned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for ‘double standards’ on the general elections.
The duo argued that INEC had assured Nigerians that it was prepared for the polls and that there was no going back on the February 16, 2019 date only to turn around to postpone the election a few hours before its commencement.
Reacting to the postponement almost four hours to the election in a telephone interview in Lokoja, Lamido said the electoral umpire should take the blame for the somersault and trial by error tactics.
Quoting INEC’s Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, he (Lamido) said he watched an earlier interview where he (Yakubu) said he did not foresee any possibility of postponing the elections, because the commission was fully prepared for the exercise.He added that Yakubu indicated that the electoral umpire was not contemplating postponing the February 16, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The senatorial candidate, who is the second son of former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido, said February 16, 2019 was a disappointing day for the country and Nigerians. He said: “It is so sad that after INEC assured Nigerians that nothing will make them to postpone the election, but unfortunately they decided to shift the date four hours to the election.
“Above all, the sad aspect is that the postponement was not due to any serious reasons like security, but logistics reason. It is unfortunate and so sad.”Speaking, Atunwa noted that the postponement of the polls at the eleventh hour demonstrated high level of incompetence on INEC’s part, adding that the sudden shift raised doubts about INEC’s credibility and the electoral process.
He said the party and its supporters were worried about the huge resources spent and lives of Nigerians who had travelled from various locations to the other to perform their civic rights.He expressed the fear that the postponement could aggravate voters apathy and demoralise potential voters.
“But we will do our best to mobilise and encourage our supporters. INEC had consistently maintained that it would not postpone the election under any guise. Logistics should have been perfected before the eleventh hour. “Nigerians need more explanations and apologies than just the terse logistics reason given by INEC,” he said.
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