PRESS BRIEFING RE: ELECTION POSTPONEMENT
Elections and political parties are primarily about people.
In this episode, millions of Nigerians have sacrificed their time, resources and convenience to perform this National civic duty only to be disappointed by the postponement.
As a party, our disappointment is doubled due to the fact that unlike some who were apparently privy to this postponement in advance, we found out alongside the public a few hours before the polls opened.
To the stranded youth corpers we empathise with you.
To the voters and volunteers who have travelled at great cost to cast their votes, we empathise with you.
To party agents and our party faithful we empathise with you.
Our sympathies go to all those people and we urge them not to despair. On a personal note, it saddens me that the failings of an independent agency have caused so much disappointment.
However, we Nigerians are a determined and resilient people and we won’t let the shortcomings of INEC deter us from exercising our franchise.
Therefore, we ask you all to stay calm, stay determined and come out en masse on February 23rd to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari.
We urge all Nigerians to convert their disappointment to determination and ensure that their previous sacrifice does not go to waste.
As a result of the common pain shared by us all, we, the Directorate of Election Planning/Monitoring, on behalf of Nigerians, demand greater openness and transparency in the Commission’s preparations ahead of Saturday 23rd February.
a. What steps have been taken with CBN to assess, take inventory of materials and brief the public about what their condition is?
b. Has INEC confirmed to Nigerians the status of its plans to procure and provide materials for election and in particular let Nigerians know if all materials required are in country and if not what plans INEC has ensure they are?
c. What plans INEC has made to re-deploy and distribute materials ahead of Saturday 23rd?
d. What specific problems did INEC encounter in the failed attempt of Saturday 16th and measures it has taken to overcome them?
e. What transport logistics and further materials does INEC require in terms of vehicles, boats, trucks, airplanes, helicopters, manpower and funding INEC requires to execute the elections of February 23rd and March 9th?
f. Do previously configured card readers for February 16th need to be re-configured for Saturday 23rd?
In addition to all of these, we believe that INEC should brief Nigeria daily on an ongoing basis until this process is concluded.
This is one way to elicit the buy-in of Nigerians that INEC is serious and this will replace disappointment with enthusiasm.
As President Buhari has urged that Nigerians should continue to rally round INEC at this trying national moment, INEC has the duty to now make its processes open, believable, confident and inspiring.
This is what Nigerians can and will rally round.
This is the road to free and fair elections which is a victory for Nigeria and not for any party.