By Bashir Bello
Following the last minute’s decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to postpone the presidential and national assembly elections, Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State has told the opposition political parties that it is unfair to blame President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the blame should be on INEC and not the President.
Masari said the President provided the INEC with all necessities needed to conduct the elections.
Governor Masari stated this while reacting to the opposition political parties insinuations that President Muhammadu Buhari was behind the postponement of the polls.
According to Masari, “But I think anybody who wants to be fair to himself and to the nation, if there is any failure, I think the blame should be at the door step of the INEC. All the resources were given to them,” Masari said.
On insinuations that the ruling party is afraid of the elections, the Governor said, “I think it is absolutely wrong, all the parties have gone round the country, we have seen party that is more popular than any other, that is the fact on ground. We are not afraid of election. In fact, the President is the happiest person because he flew all the way from Abuja to cast his votes. He was here since on Thursday.”
The governor warned the umpire body not to develop the culture of postponing and shifting elections as it was the case in 2011, 2015 and now 2019.
“As far as we are concerned as a party and as a government, we are more than ready to provide all that is necessary to conduct election. We were ready two days ago, I believe those of you who were in Katsina on Wednesday or Thursday would have seen that we were more than ready. And the postponement based on previous experience did not come to us as a suprise.
”The only concern was about the postponement of election almost at the last hour. I hope we don’t develop or INEC does not develop a culture of shifting dates of election especially without proper notice and on time. Because it cost the political parties and government to provide security. Also spending money again and again. I’m sure the law enforcement agencies were ready since and prepared. Some of them were deployed from other states, some from other local governments.
”It will cost the Nigerian tax payers money. It is time for us to look at why INEC cannot meet up with it logistics needs on time. But be it as it may, it has happened, so we have to live with it and work within it.”
And makesure that it works for the betterment of our country.
“And also if you could remember, in 2011, the voting was half. In 2015, only two days to election, the election was shifted to another six weeks. Today, the election has been shifted to another one week.
“So obviously, I think it is not right. But the reality on ground is that INEC cannot conduct this election today because this is a presidential election, the whole country is suppose to be voting on the same day. It is not like local election which one state can conduct while another state are not conducting. I hope we are seeing the last of this kind of shifting or postponement of election almost last hour,” Governor Masari stated.