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Oyebode, Akinteriwa criticise INEC for shifting polls

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Professor Akindele Babatunde Oyebode


Two renowned academics, Prof. Prof. Akin Oyebode, and Prof. Bola Akinteriwa, have criticised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for postponing the general elections.

Oyebode, a teacher of International Law and Jurisprudence, said on Saturday that the postponement of the polls few hours to the commencement of the Presidential and National Assembly polls was tragic.

He said in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday that: “The postponement of the polls by INEC is a tragedy more so as it is not unprecedented.“Like Karl Marx opined, the first time history repeats itself, it is a tragedy while the next time, it is a farce.

“We seem not to be worried by this sordid advertisement of INEC’s incompetence and lack of capacity to the world”.

On his part, Akinteriwa, a former Director-General of Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, said the postponement portrayed Nigeria as an unserious country.He said it was a shock and unexpected to many Nigerians.

He said by telephone in an interview with NAN that the shift had been a recurrent issue in Nigeria and showed that Nigeria had not really made progress.

“In all thinking ,the postponement is unexpected; consequently if we look at the implication, it does not show that Nigeria is a serious nation in terms of democracy.“What it simply shows is that since the time of independence in 1960,Nigeria has been moving in a vicious cycle.

“It will continue to move in a vicious cycle because of dishonesty of purpose running in the blood of the stakeholders..’’He noted that INEC was set up specifically for organisation of elections and wondered why it would not deliver on its mandate.

“So, why would INEC not be able to address its supposed logistical challenges in 365 days multiplied by four years? I believe there is no tenable explanation to this.“For these same logistic reasons, elections were postponed in 2011 and 2015, and in the past years, INEC has not got it right.”

Akinteriwa said the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, should have leveraged on past experience and not give excuses for not being able to conduct elections in four years.According to him, the situation is damaging to the image of Nigeria, the people and democracy.

“That is why Nigeria has not really made progress in the comity of nations because they see us as an unserious nation,” he said.INEC announced the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled to take place on Saturday to Feb. 23.

It also shifted the conduct of governorship and state assembly elections as well as Council polls in the Federal Capital Territory from March 2 to March 9.The Commission’s chairman attributed the shift to logistic problems which it wanted to solve to deliver credible polls,


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