By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- SENATE President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Saturday said that the last-minute postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections has caused a great inconvenience to many Nigerians who are poised to vote for their choice as president and federal legislators.
Saraki who doubles as the Director General of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council, expressed shock and disappointment that after all the preparations by the electoral commission, the security services and other agencies of government, issues of logistics and related matters are now said to be responsible for postponing the federal elections at a time when Nigerians were ready to cast their votes.
In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki said, “Waiting till just a few hours to commencement of voting before announcing postponement of elections is extremely sad. Nobody can quantify the difficulty that this will bring to people at every level. I empathize with youth corps members who have been relocated from their places of primary assignment to assist with the conduct of the elections. My thoughts also go to civil servants who left their bases to go and vote in their hometowns. I also sympathize with millions of ordinary Nigerian traders whose businesses were suspended because of the no movement order. Thus, the costs of this postponement are incalculable.
“However, I want to appeal to Nigerians not to be deterred, discouraged or disappointed. They must continue to be strong and determined to cast their votes for their preferred candidates. Next Saturday, they should try to forget the current setback and troop out en masse to vote for their preferred candidates. Not voting because of the postponement is not a good option for Nigerians. My appeal to our people is that we must still go out next Saturday to exercise our franchise.
“At this point, Government and INEC should focus on what is the way forward and ensure that the elections take place as rescheduled. They should move swiftly to smoothen all the rough edges. The commission must ensure we do not have a repeat of what happened today. We have been saying it that the 2019 elections should be a clear improvement on that of 2015.
“Nigerians are wiser. They will definitely punish this government that has displayed incompetence, lack of capacity and foresight and vote for the team that will get Nigeria working again.
“Let me urge our people to continue in their determination to cast their votes. They should remain resolute and come out en mass next Saturday to vote for the PDP. The Atiku-Obi ticket have the momentum on its side. This postponement will not slow us down. We have seven more days to get more voters to come out next Saturday and vote massively for PDP candidates.”