9th February, 2015
The sudden postponement on Saturday of the general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, due to security concerns raised by the nation’s security chiefs, amounts to a coup d’etat against the Nigerian people.
INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, announced at a press conference in Abuja on Saturday night that he had no choice but to postpone the elections because the security chiefs have decided to focus their attention on Boko Haram in the northeast for six weeks and could not guarantee security of Nigerian voters during the polls.
The Presidential and National Assembly elections will now take place on 28 March instead of the 14 February fixed by INEC over a year ago, while the governorship and House if Assembly elections will hold on 11 April instead of 28 February.
The postponement of the 14 February presidential election has attracted outrage both locally and internationally and Nigerians have expressed dismay that the security agencies that have recorded failure after failure in the hands of Boko Haram for several years have now decided to end insurgency in just six weeks.
We, just like many other Nigerians, want to know what would happen if the security agencies fail in six weeks’ time to tame the insecurity incubus they have used as a ploy to ambush Nigerian electorate? Will they again blackmail INEC to shift the polls?
It is our opinion that the elections were postponed for political reasons. What the security chiefs have done is not different from the dangerous shenanigans that led to the June 12 crisis that paralysed the nation for several months. This time security chiefs connived with top Federal Government functionaries to lie to the Nigerian people in order to subvert democracy. This is wrong and we condemn it.
While we call on the Nigerian people to remain calm and law abiding, it is our opinion that when pushed to the wall, the people may resort to violence. They cannot be taken for a ride. Whether the postponement is the handiwork of the wicked entrenched power blocs or not, we call on President Goodluck Jonathan and security chiefs not to postpone the elections again in March and April in the interest of the nation’s peace and stability.