16th February, 2019
ELECTION POSTPONEMENT: GIVE INEC BENEFIT OF DOUBT
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday announced the postponement of the general elections by one week. Presidential and national assembly elections will now be held on Saturday 23rd February while gubernatorial and state assembly elections will take place on Saturday 9th March, 2019. INEC cited logistic reasons for the postponement.
Sequel to this postponement, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has appealed to Nigerian voters to give INEC the benefit of doubt. In a press statement issued on Saturday 16th February, 2019, the Islamic human rights organization called on Nigerians to take the electoral body for its words.
“The challenge before INEC is gargantuan. Though the electoral body cited logistics alone, we should understand that security is a general problem facing Nigerians. The postponement was not informed by that aspect because the security agencies have risen to the challenge. The report that electoral materials meant for twelve states were missing from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) vault must be worrisome.
“A truck-load of thumb-printed ballot papers was seized by the police in Kano. INEC’s offices were burned down in two South Eastern states. A woman was allegedly arrested with 5,000 voters’ cards in Aba. A man was also allegedly arrested with prepared election result sheets in the same Aba. The sum of $1.2 billion was reportedly seized from another suspect heading towards Akwa Ibom government house. Another man who tried to steal election materials in the CBN was also apprehended.
“MURIC gives kudos to the security agencies for nipping these plots in the bud. The culprits must face the full wrath of the law. We urge the security agencies not to relent in their effort to ensure law and order during the elections.
“Finally, we appeal to Nigerians to exercise patience and understanding as INEC strives to perfect its logistics before the commencement of the postponed elections on Saturday 23rd February, 2019.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)