By Ben Agande, Kaduna
Residents of Kaduna state have reacted angrily to the postponement of the presidential and parliamentary elections in Nigeria, saying the action by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has only strengthened their resolve to vote.
In an interview with Vanguard, a cross section of respondents said there was more to the postponement of the elections than the reason adduced by the electoral body.
According to a staff of Kaduna Polytechnic who gave his name as Samuel, the postponement has strengthened his resolve to vote next Saturday.
“I was already preparing to go to my polling unit when our neighbour informed me that the elections have been postponed. It is very disappointing but it has strengthened my resolve to vote by all means. This action cannot deter me. I must vote,” he said.
For Hajia Talatu Mohammed, the postponement was an indication that all along, the Independent National Electoral Commission had taken Nigerians for granted.
“The INEC chairman had consistently said the commission was ready and prepared for the election. Why the postponement when the election was already ongoing? There is something fishy and unless the electoral body come out clear, it will never enjoy the confidence of Nigerians. It’s not only disappointing but shameful,” he said.
In his reaction, a lecturer in the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. Edward Abah said the postponement of the election “shows the scandalous level of incompetence in our country.”
According to him, the postponement will “definitely affect how people see INEC. Remember, people made a lot of sacrifices and planning for the February,16th date. Such will not easily accept the postponement,” adding that “it may work against or for the incumbent since everyone’s eyes will be very open and watchful in the next week.”