By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- A Delegate representing the South South geo- political Zone of the country at the on- going National Conference, Chief Okon Osung has called on the Federal government and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to postpone the proposed 2015 general and Presidential elections by at least eighteen (18) months, just as he said that the nation’s democracy must be preserved.
Addressing Journalists in Abuja yesterday, Okon Osung noted that with the present Nigeria’s National history and the insecurity challenges with Boko Haram engaging in massive killings of persons and wanton destruction of property in some parts of the country as well as cases of kidnapping, holding elections February next year was no longer feasible as it has become imperative for Nigeria to have a declaration of a Presidential or National Assembly politico- administrative moratorium.
Osung who is a member of Committee on Public Finance and Revenue and former Chairman, Nigeria Election Monitoring Group during the June 12, 1993 Presidential election and declared that the annulled election was free, fair and won by late Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, noted that the proposed temporary postponement of the elections would help guarantee security and peace throughout the Nigerian Federation.
The former National Vice President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ who noted that the issues raised were purely personal, however warned that if the present crises in the country were not properly managed and elections conducted, it would be a deadlock and the probability for military intervention is high, adding that after the 1979 election where the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN was a very strong opposition to the defunct National Party of Nigeria, NPN, this period opens up another strong opposition with the emergence of All Progressives Congress, APC to strongly challenge the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and there appears to be a serious desperation among the parties and politicians to win power come 2015 that may result to flash points.
The Delegate who noted that Nigeria was at a cross road and at the threshold of such a momentous decision- making moment, said, “There comes a time in the life of a nation when weighty but life-changing decisions that have prospects for bringing about turning points for the good of society must have to be taken. Our country, Nigeria, is at the threshold of such a momentous decision-making moment. Such critical moments occur not only in the lives of developing nations such as Nigeria but also in the evolution of advanced industrialized countries. For instance, faced with excruciating circumstances such as confront Nigeria today, and in compliance with the National Emergencies Act of 24th January 1995, President Bill Clinton of the United States signed the Executive Order Number 12947 whose actual import was not a declaration of a general emergency but a limited embargo on trade with “Terrorists Who Threatened To Disrupt the Middle East Process”, which national emergency was expanded in 1998 to include such additional target as Osama Bin Laden.
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