Bukola Saraki, the director-general of the Peoples Democratic Party Campaign Organisation (PDPCO) has urged Nigerians not to be discouraged by the postponement of the general election.
The election, initially scheduled to kick off today with that of presidential and national assembly coming first, was rescheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to commence next Saturday.
The electoral body cited logical challenges as the reason for its action but the Senate President is not buying into the idea. Even the president has said he is disappointed by the action of the commission.
The top lawmaker who said the decision taken by the commission is a sad one sympathized with those who were affected by the action.
“Waiting till just a few hours to the commencement of voting before announcing the postponement of elections is extremely sad. Nobody can quantify the difficulty that this will bring to millions of Nigerians across the nation,” Saraki said in a statement.
“I empathize with youth corps members who have been relocated from their places of primary assignment to assist with the conduct of the elections. My thoughts also go out to workers and civil servants who left their bases to go and vote in their hometowns.
“I also sympathize with millions of ordinary Nigerian traders whose businesses were suspended because of the no-movement order. The costs of this postponement are incalculable.
“I want to appeal to Nigerians not to be deterred, discouraged or disappointed. You must all continue to be strong and determined to cast your votes on February 23rd.
“My appeal to you is this: Next Saturday, forget the current setback and troop out en masse to vote. Not voting because of the postponement should not be an option.
“At this point, government and INEC should focus on the way forward in order to ensure that the elections take place as rescheduled. They should move swiftly to smoothen all the rough edges that currently exist.
“INEC must ensure that we do not have a repeat of what happened today. As I have always reiterated, the 2019 elections should be a clear improvement on that of 2015.
“Nigerians are now wiser. They will definitely punish this government that has displayed incompetence, lack of capacity and foresight and vote for the team that will #GetNigeriaWorkingAgain.
“I urge you all: remain resolute and come out en masse next Saturday to vote for the PDP. The Atiku-Obi ticket have the momentum on its side. This postponement will not slow us down,” the lawmaker said.
POLITICS TIMES recalls that this is not the first time the electoral body has postponed election in the country.
The presidential election which produced President Muhammadu Buhari was rescheduled on security ground but this did not stop him from defeating the incumbent president, Goodluck Jonathan.