2011 April Polls Update

April 3, 2011

Shifted polls: Be calm, Fashola tells Nigerians

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

Following Saturday, postponement of elections into  the National Assembly, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has urged Nigerians to remain patient and calm in spite of the huge disappointment caused by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Fashola who spoke with newsmen in Lagos , said there was the need to also examine in details, the system failure that led to the postponement adding that a hasty rescheduling should also be avoided.

‘’The level of preparedness of this election has been called into question now and one wants to also say that it’s too hasty for INEC to suggest that this elections would hold on Monday, if they couldn’t get it right for this long, why should they be rushing into Monday’’

‘’I think they should meet with all the political parties and I don’t see why they can’t take the opportunity now to take one week to plan and merge the next elections for Saturday with this one. I think this is a better time to check their controls and all their systems to ensure that we do not have another setback by Saturday’’, he explained.

The governor who described the decision to shift the polls to Monday,  as rather hasty, added that he listened to Professor Jega saying that people haven’t voted, when indeed, he as a person has voted at his area in Surulere by 12.45pm which means that the ballot papers were out.

Fashola therefore appealed to the people to keep the peace, no matter how disappointed they are, stressing that: ‘’We must restrain ourselves,  remain law abiding and all the security agencies are implored to continue to remain vigilant and be at full alert’’.

The governor also drew attention to the possibility that students would be writing WAEC examination on Monday, and should not have their exams disrupted again because of the clear failures that have been exhibited by another institution.

According to him: ‘’I think it’s also important for INEC to remain calm and focused and get the fullest information about what caused this failure but I want to also advise Lagosians that the reason stated by INEC is that they don’t have the result sheets so it means that in all the places where we have voted, they couldn’t have written the final result, that is the reason they gave’’, the Governor said.

Fashola said though a lot of efforts, patience and resources have been committed to it, Nigerians would get it right if everyone remains calm.

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