Nigerians have reacted to the rescheduling of the 2019 presidential election.
A hashtag criticising the action is also currently trending on Twitter.
The hashtag #CoupAgainstNigeria was started by Reno Omokri, ex-presidential aide late Friday evening when reports of the postponement emerged.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the rescheduling of the election early Saturday morning.
The electoral body cited logistics challenges in some states as reason for its action and this has generated reactions from Nigerians with most of them condemning the action and alleging of plans to rig the election. Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of INEC was recently seen donning the campaign cap of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) when he is expected to be apolitical.
Although this is not the first time a general election has been shifted in the country, the latest happened the same day the citizens were expected to decide who leads them in the next four years.
The 2015 presidential election which produced President Muhammadu Buhari was postponed five weeks from the initial date. POLITICS TIMES recalls that the same excuse INEC gave while postponing this year’s election was what it tendered when it rescheduled the 2011 general election seven days before the scheduled day.
Reacting to the development, a legal practitioner, Inibehe Effiong, said the action of the electoral body signifies incompetence on its part.
“The shocking last minute postponement of the 2019 elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is an admission by the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC that it is compromised and grossly incompetent,” Mr Effiong said in a statement while calling on the electoral chief to step aside.
“Whatever the outcome of the rescheduled elections may be, the INEC has lost whatever goodwill it had. Prof. Yakubu is incompetent and at a minimum, should tender his resignation,” his statement partly read.
Some of the reactions on the micro-blogging site captured by POLITICS TIMES are reproduced below.
Imagine Jonathan postponed 2015 election few hours to it, Imagine what would have happened, Imagine how Nigerians would have reacted, Imagine and imagine. #CoupAgainstNigeria
— Bayo Michael (@letsbuildnew9ja) February 15, 2019
Nigeria is a movie…. Director jus shouted "CUT"
— Egolang Developer (@Generalkayc) February 16, 2019
INEC has been Compromised…. I repeat INEC has been Compromised. #CoupAgainstNigeria
— Yung T'Challa (@HarrisonYung) February 15, 2019
The current @inecnigeria does not have the capability to conduct free, fair and credible elections because since their incept elections became inconclusive. The postponement of the election is #CoupAgainstNigeria Democracy. @EUinNigeria @USEmbassyAbuja @EUinNigeria
— Collins O. Atoberuru (@collinsatos) February 16, 2019
My sympathy to those who fixed their wedding dates to hold on the 23rd bcs of elections. Only to wake up to know the election has been shifted to their wedding dates by @inecnigeria after printing wedding cards 💔. #CoupAgainstNigeria #VoteBuhariOut
— man_like.ceejay (@ClintonOkirie) February 16, 2019
Postponing elections just a few hours to it?Oh!shame on Nigeria 🇳🇬 #CoupAgainstNigeria
— Etudaye Oyiza Joy (@EtudayeJ) February 16, 2019
Who on earth postpones an election 5 hours to the election except a scared government whose time is up but DOES NOT want to go? They had 4 years to prepare for this election. They had ₦190 billion. Yet they pull this #CoupAgainstNigeria. Will you allow @MBuhari go unpunished?
— AbadaEfeJulius (@AbadaEfeJulius) February 16, 2019
The postponement of the election is a #CoupAgainstNigeria and slap in the face of Nigerians, given that the government had enough time and money to prepare for the elections. Nigerians, don’t respond violently. Be patient to vote against them.
— Maxwell Scofield (@SkofieldMaxwell) February 16, 2019
election postponed……it still won't change our mind on who to vote. This is indeed #CoupAgainstNigeria
— Chris Fega (@ChrisFega) February 16, 2019
— Dr. Alex (@Cardinalkuzy1) February 16, 2019
"Tomorrow never dies". But here you are, with machetes, guns and all, trying to kill it. You failed woefully. We'll meet on 23rd & show you our tomorrow is unkillable. This #CoupAgainstNigeria won't succeed
— Sam Danladi (@DanladiSam) February 16, 2019
When our uncaring airlines postpone our flights & just tell us it’s for “operational reasons”, they at least pretend to “regret any inconveniences this may cause.” INEC couldn’t even be bothered to pretend that it regrets any inconveniences caused to us. Poor! #NigeeiaDecides2019
— Dr. Joe Abah (@DrJoeAbah) February 16, 2019