- Nigerians abroad have expressed dissatisfaction at the actions of INEC which announced last-minute postponement of the 2019 general elections
- Some Nigerians who spoke in Europe on the matter said they were shocked to hear of the sudden postponement when all seemed to be going on well
- Other Nigerians abroad who also reacted to the development however said they were only surprised at the timing of the announcement
Nigerians abroad have described the postponement of the 2019 general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as a conspiracy against the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, News of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
According to NAN, the Nigerians based in Europe described the development as “sad, insensitive and a conspiracy against the Buhari administration”.
The report quoted Bayo Michael, chairman of the Nigeria In Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) in Brussels as saying that the decision taken by INEC reeks of “insensitivity, irresponsibility and incompetence”.
He added: “In saner climes, INEC chairman’s announcement would have been followed by a letter of resignation.
“However, unless you are directly involved in the decision making, it can be hard to empathise with or understand the logic behind some decisions taken.’’
A political analyst in London, Godwin Azu also described the postponed election as “highly suspicious and unacceptable”.
He said: “We in the diaspora are highly disappointed with the 11th hour development by INEC, which is greatly unprofessional of an election umpire at a highly volatile election moment to cancel an election on the day of election.
“Many of our Diasporas who have travelled to join the international community and domestic observers to observe the election, I am sure, are equally shocked and disappointed on the turn of events.
“The very credibility of INEC chairman and his entire team is now at stake, he has to legitimately prove his innocence and genuine honesty for making the final decision to postpone the elections on the 11th hour.”
Dr Rita Odey, a member of the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (CANUK) said that the move was to discourage people from performing their civic responsibility.
“People travelled from Europe to Nigeria for this purpose under tight circumstances. To postpone an election on the day of voting speaks volume.
“INEC had four years to plan for this election, if it couldn’t deliver as we are now made to believe, it should have announced it since Feb.1 in order for people to adjust their plans.
“This is a grand conspiracy against the Buhari administration. Nigerians must rise against this by turning out en mass to vote him back into office on Saturday," she said.
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The report quoted other respondents who spoke from Spain, Germany and Italy as saying they were not against the postponement but the timing of the announcement.
In a statement made available to the media on Saturday, February 16, President Buhari expressed disappointment over the decision of the electoral umpire to postpone the elections.
Nigerians express total disappointment with INEC over election postponement - on Legit TV