Handover Date Of 29th May 2015 Is Non-Negotiable’ Coalition Of Progressive Political Parties Tells INEC By Kalshingi H Jedidah
Organisation of opposition parties under the auspices of Coalition of Progressive Political Parties has called on the Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, National Security Advisor, and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to ensure that the new election date slated for March 28th -April 14th 2015 have not been rescheduled again, insisting that the handover date must not be tampered with as doing so may truncate the nation’s democracy as well as pose serious threat to its unity and stability.
Speaking in response to the postponement of the general election on behalf of the group, the National Secretary of Social Democratic Party SDP, Dr Sadiq Umar Abubakar stated in a press conference held in Gombe that elections must hold as rescheduled, or else any further attempt to reschedule the date again or tamper with the current composition of the INEC for whatever reason will undermine outcome of the 2015 elections.
According to him, the COP3 was not happy with the INEC’s decision to shift the election date despite massive rejection of the idea by the people. He alleged that INEC must have been influenced by the National Security Advisor and some other forces to take such decision at the detriment of the people’s interest.
He argued that the issue of insecurity in the northeast which was brought as the primary reason for shifting of election date has been there for over five years, and that the insurgency has only affected 24 Local governments which constitute only 3% of the total number of 774 Local Governments in the country and therefore does not stand as a threat to the conduct of the elections.
He said, INEC had earlier before the postponement expressed commitment and readiness to conduct elections as earlier scheduled on the basis that 68% of Permanent Voter’s Cards have already been collected across the country. Adding that, INEC itself has earlier said it has designed a plan to enable over. One million Displaced Persons from those areas to cast their votes, for such reasons he said there was no any other reason why INEC should contradict its earlier commitment.
“It is therefore untenable and unacceptable for the National Security Advisor and service Chiefs to offer insecurity as an excuse for their inability to offer security so the elections could hold as earlier scheduled. This failure ultimately is the failure of the Commander in Chief who is also a candidate in the election and who may have a vested interest in making sure the election does not hold as scheduled.” He added.
He said however that, despite provocation and unease the rescheduling of election has caused, the COP3 wished to call on their supporters and all Nigerians to accept the new election date in good faith for peace unity and progress of the country.
Even as he urged them to remain calm and vigilant and ensure they mobilise their community members to get their PVCs as the only instrument they can use to effect their desired change.