German foundation criticises election postponement, says it is bad for democracy
By Lizzy Okoji
Abuja, Feb. 16, 2019 (NNN) The Konrad Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), a German Foundation has criticised the postponement of the 2019 Nigeria’s General Elections on a short notice, saying it was a not good for democracy and Nigeria.
Dr Vladamir Kreck, KAS Country Representative, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) on Saturday in Abuja.
Kreck stressed that elections were important events to a country’s democracy which should be treated with a high level preparedness.
He said it disheartening to note that elections could be postponed for logistics reasons after preparing for this long.
Kreck noted regrettably election postponement was fast becoming a norm in Nigeria and suggested that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must start adequate preparations in good time.
“It came to us as a complete surprise that the elections have to be postponed because of logistics.
“This is not a good thing for Nigeria and for democracy at all.
“To postpone elections at such a short notice, some couple of hours before the polling units open can trigger voter apathy.
“We have to imagine that millions of Nigerians travelled to cast their votes, the schools were closed, now the question is, what will happen next week? Do they have to remain closed?”
“These questions affect the decision whether or not they will cast their votes next week.’’
While advising INEC to be more efficient in order for Nigerians to trust its credibility as an institution, Kreck, however, urged Nigerians to remain calm and peaceful as well as come out on the next scheduled dates to cast their votes.
He said that KAS would continue to support Nigeria’s democracy through its vision and programmes, to ensure that democracy, rule of law and prosperity prevailed in the country.
According to him, KAS had organised several capacity building programmes for Civil Society Orgainsations (CSOs), the media and other stakeholders on civic education, conflict prevention, peace and security, among others.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) recalls that INEC early on Saturday announced the postponement of the 2019 General Elections by one week.
The Presidential and National Assemblies election scheduled for Fe.16, was shifted to Feb. 23 while the Gubernatorial, State Assemblies FCT elections were moved from March 2, to March 9.(NNN)
Edited Nkechi Okoronkwo
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