Atiku Abubakar, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, alleged that the postponement of the general election by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is “obviously a case of the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob.
According to The Guardian, Atiku blamed the postponement of the elections on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, saying the government had “more than enough time and money to prepare”.
In a statement released in the early hours of Saturday, February 16, Atiku said: “The Buhari administration has 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 by voting in the elections earlier scheduled for Saturday, 16 February, 2019. “By instigating this postponement, the Buhari administration hopes to disenfranchise the Nigerian electorate in order to ensure that turn out is low on the rescheduled date.” Atiku further alleged that the the election postponement is a bid to frustrate Nigerians from participating in the election. He said: “Their plan is to provoke the public, hoping for a negative reaction, and then use that as an excuse for further anti-democratic acts. “As such, I call on all Nigerians to be patient. We have tolerated the maladministration of this government for four years. We can extend our tolerance a few more days and give them our verdict via our votes.
Meanwhile, the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Campaign Organisation has also accused the electoral commission of conniving with the PDP to scuttle the election. The Guardian reports that Festus Keyamo, the director of media of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, said the postponement of the general election is “a huge disappointment.” “We condemn and deprecate this tardiness of the electoral umpire in the strongest terms possible,” Keyamo, said in a statement on Saturday. He stated that “the rumour mill is agog with the suggestion that this postponement has been orchestrated in collusion with the main opposition.
INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, announced the postponement on Saturday, February 16, at a press briefing morning held at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja. The INEC boss said: “Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan, and the determination to conduct free, fair, and credible elections, the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible.