Ex-Kaduna State Governor, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, yesterday expressed shock over the postponement of the 2019 General Elections and warned that any other postponement of elections date by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will cause crisis and make both the electoral body and the government to lose credibility.
Explaining that INEC and the security operatives are over stretched to guarantee free, fair and credible elections, Musa advised that for the nation to further enjoy peace, INEC and the Federal Government should be given benefit of doubt.
INEC had announced the postponement a few hours to the commencement of the February 16 Presidential and National Assembly polls.
Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, while announcing the postponement in Abuja, attributed the step to “overwhelming logistics and operational challenges.”
The Commission fixed February 23 and March 9 as new dates for the presidential and National Assembly elections; and the governorship
Reacting to the postponement of the elections through a telephone conversation with our correspondent in Abuja, Musa, who is also the Chairman of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), said: “we have to give the benefit of doubt to INEC and the Federal Government. The feeling is that the institutions connected with the elections are not prepared for a free, fair, peaceful and credible elections. These institutions are the federal government itself, INEC, security agencies and the political parties.
“INEC and the security services are over stretched. Their capacity for free, fair and transparent elections, which should be peaceful and lead to a legitimate government, is over stretched.
“In the case of the political parties, it is irrelevant because as far as we are concerned, we know that Nigerian political parties in general are irrelevant to a democratic development in the country. For example, we have two major political parties in the country and we have 89 others that oppose these two.
“The 89, up until now have not been able to come together and produce an alternative. And we are now talking of peaceful development. Why can’t we do it? We can’t unite to produce a third alternative.
“Now with this situation, if we hold the election as planned, there is the risk of anarchy and unnecessary loss of lives and property. It is maintenance of order; we have to give the benefit of doubt to government and INEC that their decision is genuine. Weather it is so or not, we have to be briefed by subsequent events. For instance, if they try to shift the election again then we will suspect that there is another negative objective.
“Now the negative state of the nation shows us that really the postponement of the election may be genuine.”