INEC’s action not explainable –Obi
Accept postponement in good faith —Uzodinma
By Chioma Gabriel,Vincent Ujumadu & Chinonso Alozie
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has called on Nigerians to shift whatever grouse they have regarding the postponement of the 2019 general election to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The governor through his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, while reacting to the postponement of the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections also said that no political party should be vilified.
The governor asked INEC to use the one week extension to tackle the challenges that led to the postponement drama.
“Governor Rochas Okorocha, who is also the chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum has called on Nigerians to show patriotism over the postponement of the Saturday, February 16, 2019 elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, stating that although the postponement was regrettable, institutions like INEC could have challenges.
“The governor also said that the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the ruling party is ready for elections any day and any time, stressing that no political party should be blamed for the postponement especially when it is remembered that this is not the first time such development could take place in the nation’s elections,” Onwuemeodo stated.
INEC action not explainable —Obi
In a similar vein, the Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Peter Obi condemned the action of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, saying the postponement was not explainable.
Also reacting through his media aide, Val Obienyem, Obi expressed shock at the action of the electoral umpire.
He said: “How can INEC convince anybody that it suddenly discovered its unpreparedness on the day of the election? What of foreign observers already in the country? What of those that travelled home from their places of abode? What of those contesting that had already paid their agents? There are many questions begging for answers.”
INEC not ready for free polls —Obaze
In his reaction, the chairman of PDP campaign council in Anambra State, Oseloka Obaze observed that INEC had four years to prepare for the 2019 elections in keeping with its statutory functions, adding that its last minute postponement of the polls, despite repeated assurances, lent credence to earlier worries that INEC was never prepared to conduct free, fair and sufficiently credible elections.
“As the umpire, INEC must understand that this postponement comes at a great cost to Nigerians,” he noted.
Buhari jittery over election, says MASSOB
The Movement for Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, yesterday claimed that the postponement of the elections exposed the fears of the government in power to face the election.
Speaking in Owerri, MASSOB leader, Uchenna Madu, called on “other pressure groups in the country, to stand firm in making sure that the will of the people is not subverted.”
Accept postponement in good faith —Uzodinma
Meanwhile, the Imo State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has called on Nigerians to accept the postponement of the 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections in good faith.
Uzodinma in a statement by his Director of Media and Publicity, Declan Emelumba, noted that “INEC, had postponed the election few hours to the commencement of the exercise, a development which angered Nigerians after they had travelled long distance to choose their President.”
But Uzodinma argued that it was not the first time election had been postponed in the country adding that INEC, should use the opportunity of rescheduled election to stregnthen it’s plan to conduct free and fair election in the country.
The Imo APC, guber candidate also called on Nigerians to remain calm and actively participate in the election as rescheduled.
The release stated: “The APC governorship candidate in Imo state Sen Hope Uzodimma has called on Imo people and Nigerians in general to accept the postponement of the presidential and national assembly elections by INEC in good faith and remain confident that the electoral body will ultimately conduct credible elections come Saturday
“We must however believe that INEC is on top of the situation and must have taken the decision in the best interest of Nigeria and the election itself.
“He recalled that postponement of elections in Nigeria is not new noting that from 2007 to 2015 virtually all elections have been postponed in the country but that they eventually held after the postponement, people should not read unnecessary meanings into the present postponement.
“The APC candidate urged all Nigerians to be patient and take the postponement calmly while asurring that he is confident that INEC remains equal to the task of conducting free, fair and credible elections.”
Hold Okorocha accountable for any electoral violence in Imo —— Madumere
Imo State Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere, has urged Nigerians to hold Governor Rochas Okorocha accountable, if the state records any electoral violence and thuggery, despite the peace accord signed by political parties and their candidates.
Madumere raised the alarm weekend, while fielding questions from a delegation of Election Observers from the United States of America led by Mr. Chris Uche, who paid him a courtesy visit at his country home, Achi, Ezi autonomous community in Mbieri, Mbaitoli local government of Imo State.
“Okorocha, who is contesting for the Imo West senatorial seat, is roundly desperate, following his irrecoverable diminished popularity”, Madumere said.
While confirming that all the candidates have signed a peace accord to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner during the electioneering process, Madumere however warned: “Should there be an eruption of violence, hold Okorocha responsible”. He is desperate. He has lost popularity owing to his misrule and sadistic life style, where inflicting pains on the people appears to be his only source of happiness.”
Continuing, the Deputy Governor reminded his guests of Okorocha’s alleged public statements, in which he promised to to ensure that he installed himself as Senator and his son-in-law as governor.
“Imo people have rejected it and that is why he is desperate. He has been training militia groups, imported some hoodlums and we know that they are camped at various points of the state. We call on the police and other security agencies, who I am sure, are aware of the development through various sources of intelligence”, Madumere told his guests.
It was also his considered opinion that Okorocha was fighting like a wounded lion, having been cut to size, in the cause of building or trying to turn the state to a family political dynasty.
“He wants to continue in office by proxy. He wants the wife to be a member of House of Representatives. He wants the family members to be Chief of Staff, Commissioner for Finance, Majority Leader in the Stte House of Assembly and a lot more. Such were some of the reasons I chose to rather be on the side of the people”, Madumere explained.
While calling on Imolites to lawfully go about their civil rights and resist violence, the Deputy Governor equally called on the police and other security agencies, to “religiously carry out their lawful duties and resist the temptation of turning themselves into a willing tool in the hand of any desperate politician”.
Lifting boycott order is IPOB’s masterstroke
The last may not have been heard about the last minute rescheduling of last weekend’s presidential and National Assembly elections, as the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, claimed that it was a confirmation that it’s decision to lift the boycott “was a masterstroke that took the cabal by surprise”.
IPOB made its feelings known through a press statement signed by the group’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful.
“The move by IPOB apex leadership to call off the boycott made it virtually impossible for (the President) and his handlers, to proceed to rig the elections on the account that IPOB boycotted the polls”, Comrade Powerful said.
According to the group, it had become very clear for the world to see that “some nefarious elements within the corridors of power in Aso Rock, desperately wanted IPOB to boycott these elections, in order to justify their already perfected script that our boycott made it possible for them to emerge victorious”.
Continuing, Powerful further explained that by calling off the boycott, the President and his acolytes have not only lost the initiative, but are also headed for defeat.
“Our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the prophet of our time, is light years ahead of the intrigues and machinations that characterise politics in Nigeria. Had the leadership of our great movement, IPOB, not called off the boycott, the sham elections would have proceeded as rigged, with an impostor announced as the winner on account that IPOB boycotted the exercise, Powerful said.
The group also said that anybody, who was still in doubt about the potency of IPOB, would undoubtedly have a rethink after this incident.
“Obviously, the IPOB boycott call off, took the Nigerian establishment unawares. A simple statement from our leader has exposed voting in Nigeria as a huge joke. Let the riggers go back and plan how to rig well. What a country, what a contraption”, Comrade Powerful said.
Part of the press statement read: “In effect, our leader calling off the boycott was a huge shock they were unable to manage. Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai’s threat and ochestrated army violence against peaceful IPOB in the run up to the February 16, were all designed to maximise the impact of the intended boycott because that was the outcome they desired.
“This plan fell apart as soon as IPOB called off the boycott. Therefore, they had no choice than to postpone the elections. That Nigeria is not voting today is due to what some people have called the IPOB effect.
“IPOB’s late announcement of the lifting of the boycott was what led to this last minute postponement by INEC, because they had ample time throughout the week to postpone the elections but failed to do so. The fear of IPOB is the beginning of wisdom. Only the unaware pretend otherwise.”