The Association of Nigerian Scholars in the Diaspora (ANSD) has expressed disappointment at the postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had last shifted the polls, hinging its reason on logistics.
The scholars said the postponement had caused severe hardships to many Nigerian voters and candidates, especially those who traveled down to exercise their franchise.
A statement jointly signed by Bitru Gwamna, the president and Pita Agbese, secretary-general, called on Nigerians to reject the alleged plot by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to discredit the forthcoming elections.
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The scholars said Nigerians deserve a better leader like President Muhammadu Buhari, who have laid a better foundation for a next level.
The statement below:
While we may wish to believe that INEC acted in the best interests of nation, the manner in which the postponement was done was inescapably untidy. After assuring the nation that it was ready to conduct the elections, INEC’s last minute decision to abort the process on February 16th left much to be desired.
The efficiency under which elections are conducted constitutes an important mechanism for candidates and the electorates to repose confidence in the electoral process. INEC’s sudden postponement feeds conspiracy theories on manipulations and ulterior motives behind its conducts. This is unfortunate as INEC had conducted several free and fair elections under the Buhari administration.
In fact, INEC’s prior unscrupulous handling of the past elections was laying an important foundation for concluding that the era of coming to office in Nigeria through a sordid electoral process was at an end. We urge INEC to take all steps to ensure hitch-free elections next Saturday and during the subsequent elections. All Nigerians have a duty to support the organization as it carries out one of the most solemn obligations of a democratic political system, the holding of free, fair and credible elections.
As a patriotic organization, we have watched and heard with alarm, unguarded statements by former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the forthcoming elections. Obasanjo has all but condemned the elections as already rigged in favor of President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC). He has made this condemnation without a scintilla of evidence. If Obasanjo’s statements on the elections were made from a non-partisan perspective, one could forgive him and say that his statements as misguided as they have been, were ill-advised but good intentioned.
That is not the case. Obasanjo has been actively campaigning on behalf of Atiku Abubakar, one of the leading presisential candidates. In fact, Obasanjo’s zeal for the Atiku candidacy creates the impression that it is Obasanjo tand for the country like Buhari.