Monday, 18 February 2019

Poll Postponements And The Many Views Of Nigerians On Social Media By Olusegun Ariyo

 Image result for INEC

Whether we like it or not, the postponements of the 2019 general election have come to stay as many Nigerians are already looking forward to the expected date as announced by the chairman of the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)which is about six days from (today) Monday.

 But what is certain is in the fact that the aftermath action of the umpire's action won’t leave the many views coming from Nigerians on social media regarding what they feel and other lessons, reaction and other permutations that may have followed the election should in case it is allowed to take place.

Urban express news online put together views coming from its online page on facebook platform (urban express News online)

First, many are of the views that  Independent National Electoral Commission's  decision has succeeded in putting off the much-expected battle between two titans of the incumbent president mohammadu Buhari and the other coming from the leading opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, which indeed in their views cannot  come as a child's play, going by their   campaigns within and around the entire length of the country   .

The understanding was that the postponement both candidates are left antagonizing each other. The first, being the opposition PDP had described such action as a case of the hand of Esau  But a voice of Jacob saying “ sudden shift was done to anger Nigerians so that they would not turn out on February 23 in large numbers, a development he noted would assist the Buhari administration in achieving its agenda.

While blaming the incumbent for the surprise shift in dates, Atiku recalled that “the administration had more than enough time and money to prepare for these elections and the Nigerian people were poised and ready to perform their civic responsibility.”Conversely, Buhari expressed surprise and ignorance of the postponement, explaining that he would take a position after getting to Abuja and receiving further briefings from INEC. By his immediate reaction, the president gave the impression that he was not actually in charge.

in other words, the incumbent president through its party's National Publicity secretary Issa Onilu had also accused the Peoples Democratic Party saying everything that happened with INEC was a well-orchestrated plan with the opposition PDP to take undue advantage of the process,  president Mohammad Buhari's party, the All ProgCongresscongress has claimed!  

Others in their remark on urban Express New-online  fan page kept milling in the mind immediately the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced an adjustment in the timelines for the 2019 poll

 Some are of the opinion that unless you plan for success, you plan to fail; success demands no explanation as failure permits no alibi!

many although are of the views that the one-week shift of election dates for Presidential/National Assembly and Governorship/State Assemblies’ election does not imply that INEC has failed

. In the same breath, they said the postponement does not burnish the commission’s reputation or confer credibility to its level of preparedness for the much-anticipated election.

Other commentators also expressed the view that INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, deserves commendation for the courage to pull off the costly postponement in the light of obvious desperation by the ruling party to corral the poll towards a predetermined outcome.

 Yet, some on the flip side believe that placed side by side with his predecessor, Prof. Attahiru Jega, Yakubu does not inspire confidence to deliver on such a crucial national election that replicates to a large extent the divisive and tensed 2015 poll.

Although Yakubu found himself in a very tricky and testy environment that contrasted greatly with the circumstances under which Jega administered the commission, his vacant outlook makes him susceptible to the pliable nature ascribed to him. Against that background, the eleventh-hour postponement of the 2019 general election was anticipated by those who saw through the INEC chairman’s seemingly second guessing strategies on critical issues.

Although Yakubu sounds sincere, it is also possible that he could be sincerely wrong on most of his assumptions, because either he was comfortable with the hide and seek games designed by some elements in the presidency or he was oblivious of the level of national interest generated by the poll.

There are those that coined it with another means of systemic rigging plans saying some voters might have the understanding that the staggered and haphazard distribution of election materials was orchestrated to wobble the elections in the fashion of Osun governorship poll.

Nigerians would easily recall that it was the Osun governorship poll that played up the untidy closeness of the electoral body and the presidency, especially against the background of the phoney phone call that culminated in the inconclusiveness of the exercise by INEC.
Intriguingly, after Amina Zakari was introduced into the narrative of Osun governorship imbroglio, attention was removed from INEC chairman, who followed up the development by moving Mrs Zakari out of INEC operations department.

 Although some partisan commentators may dismiss the claims as conspiracy theory, the suggestion sounds plausible that INEC planned to hold an election in 26 states and order a makeup poll in the outstanding 10, after the voting pattern and vote tally in the 26 must have become apparent.

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