Holding Elections On Schedule

Editorial

The 2015 Presidential Election is less than three weeks away and calls by Sambo Dasuki, the National Security Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, that the election be postponed should be ignored.

The general elections should be held next month as scheduled and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, should intensify efforts to distribute all the voter’s cards before election day. We agree with Attahiru Jega, the INEC Chairman, that there is still enough time to get all the cards to voters before the polls open on 14 February during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

It is worthwhile that INEC has extended the collection of the PVCs to 13 February, a day before the polls to enable voters get their cards. The hysteria surrounding the collection of the cards wouldn’t have been so strident if INEC had done its home work well. It had four years to get these cards ready but chose to snooze all through these years only to throw everybody into panic and unnecessary frenzy.

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Jega said two weeks ago that over 54 million Permanent Voter’s Cards, PVCs, had been supplied by the manufacturer and almost 40 million of them had been distributed. He said the 14 million cards left would be ready at the end of this month. We hope INEC would deliver on this promise. We believe that this is possible and we call on Nigerians to ensure that they collect their cards before election day.

The passion and anger expressed on the social media and newspapers will translate to nothing if many Nigerians decide not to vote. INEC said voters’ cards can be collected every day except Sundays at designated points. Nigerians must seize the opportunity and collect their cards.

It is our opinion that all these things can be done in the next few weeks and elections should hold as scheduled on 14 and 28 February. The 2015 elections are important and would define the future of Nigeria in the next four years. It is important that Nigerians participate overwhelmingly. Any attempt to postpone the elections may be disastrous.