Just like in 2015, history repeats itself today as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the Saturday, February 16, 2019 general elections few hours to its commencement.
In 2015, INEC under the leadership of Attahiru Jega postponed the Presidential and National Assembly from February 14, 2015 to March 28th, 2015.
Jega blamed the unrest in north-east Nigeria caused by Boko Haram attacks as well as INEC's concern for the security of its ad hoc staff as some of the reasons for the postponement.
In 2019, INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who blamed logistic issues for the shift in the election dates announced that the elections would now hold on February 23 and March 9.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who left his hometown, Daura, for Abuja this morning, said he was disappointed in INEC for postponing the 2019 election, but urged the commission to ensure that materials already distributed for the poll are safe.
However, in 2015, Buhari was more vocal with his criticism of the INEC after the election was postponed.
Buhari who ran on the platform of the APC in 2015 accused INEC of being compromised by the then ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Below, read Buhari's statement after INEC postponed the 2015 election:
"It took INEC one month to work out…I see no reason why we should postpone it.
“There are 14 local governments where there is (security) problem; 10 in Borno, two in Your, two in Adamawa. And there and 774 local governments in Nigeria. Should we postpone the election because of 14 local governments?
“Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria were fighting wars and they conducted elections, what is Boko Haram?
“I wish to appeal for utmost restraint and calm by all Nigerians, especially the teeming supporters of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“It is important to note that although INEC acted within its constitutional powers, it is clear that it has been boxed into a situation where it has had to bow to pressure. Thus, the independence of INEC has been gravely compromised.”
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Meanwhile, the PDP Presidetial candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has reacted to the postponement of the 2019 general elections.
Atiku 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.”
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".
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