Be ready to vote on Feb. 23, Rights group urges Nigerians




By Yemi Adeleye

Lagos, Feb. 16, 2019 (NNN) The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Lagos State Chapter, has urged Nigerians not to lose hope in the electoral process’s following the unexpected postponement of the Saturday elections.

Its Chairman in Lagos State, Mr Alex Omotehinse, said instead, Nigerians should be ready to go out end masse on Feb. 23 and March 9 to cast their votes for candidates of their choice.

Omotehinse spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) on Saturday in Lagos on the sudden postponement of Presidential and National Assembly elections by INEC, barely five hours to commencement of the elections.

NNN reports that INEC had shifted the Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections by one week over logistics and operational problems.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had attributed the postponement of all the scheduled elections to logistic and operational problems.

Yakubu said that the Governorship, State Houses of Assembly, and FCT Area Council elections were also shifted from March 2 to March 9.

INEC chief said that the postponement would afford the electoral body the opportunity to address the identified challenges in order to maintain the quality of Nigeria’s elections.

Responding, Omotehinse said: “My advice to Nigerians, especially the electorate is to get ready and prepare to cast their votes whenever INEC is ready.

“There should be no voter apathy for the good of our nation.

“Nigerians should not lose hope; this postponement is a way of distraction, but Nigerians should not be distracted or be discouraged.

“They should be focussed and get ready to cast their votes for any candidate of their choice.’’

According to him, the postponement came as a shock to some of us.

“Though, the postponement of elections is constitutional and allowed, it is uncalled for five hours to the opening of polling units.

“The postponement will afford the commission the opportunity to address the identified challenges in order to maintain the quality of Nigeria’s elections.

“I think this is unacceptable; if elections are to be postponed, it should not be less than 24, not five hours to the poll.

“These elections were said to have been planned for by INEC,” Omotehinse said:

The activist explained that many business activities were crippled due to the postponement.

He said that the reasons adduced by INEC for the postponement was not “tenable and believable”. (NNN)

Edited by Fela Fashoro/Olagoke Olatoye