Sunday, 17 February 2019

Election Postponement: Nigerian writes an open letter


17 February 2019 

Good morning fellow Nigerians,

I believe majority of you who have an understanding of what is going on in Nigeria right now are not happy. Needless for me to ask how you're doing, I know you're sad!

Just to register my displeasure and utter disappointment on the performance of INEC so far. It is sad that after 3 years plus of preparation, INEC could deem it reasonable to review a National elections 8 hours before it is due. This is irresponsible!

Citizens have traveled far and wide to their respective communities to cast their vote; Abuja, Lagos, Kanu, Kaduna, Imo, Abia, Delta, Bayelsa, UK, USA, etc. Election observers too are here. I'm writing from my home town in Akwa Ibom State. I traveled under stress yesterday to make elections today.

It's rather unfortunate, very sad, painful, disgusting, provoking to have the elections postponed just 4 hours to the poll. As a write, some persons who are not aware of the development are thronging the polling unit as I observe. This country (Nigeria) has been very provocative since the last 3 years plus. Decisions are being taken unilaterally, not minding the constitutions or the implications.

I'm feeling bad because on the 20th of January, 2019 CROWDPOL (a Civic Tech Organization) in partnership with our organization (Nigerian Movement for Positive Change), organised a Voter Education Rally in Calabar to fight against Voter Apathy and encourage vote participation among youths and the general public. In the rally (which took place at The Millennium Park), we stressed the need to shun electoral violence etc. And I recall vividly that a letter was sent to the Cross River State INEC resident Commissioner through the Director of Voter Education three weeks before the time, to be part of the rally and give their support, but we had no response whatsoever, despite visiting their office for three times. (I assume they knew that they would postpone the elections just 4 hours to the poll). How else could one explain their irresponsibility.

Today, INEC encourages Voter Apathy. Here's why;

1. Those who took permission from work to take a two days trip to Vote will have to return to their places of work.

2. Nigerian who traveled down from other countries (and have already planned their trip) will have to travel back.

3. Citizens who were encouraged to come out and vote will now have a solid reasons not to participate in the poll again.

4. Ready voters are discouraged.

5. Some international observers may have to return to their respective countries.

6. Suspicions are raised and the entire country is tensed.

7. Millions of Naira is wasted on travelling and logistics cost by citizens who travelled to vote.

Too bad to mention also is that, in the official letter of INEC, they have not regretted this sudden postponement, neither have they apologised to Nigerians about this sudden decision.

It is unfortunate, very unfortunate! But I want to encourage Nigerians not to deter nor be discouraged, rather take this as a challenge and vote to free Nigeria once and for all.

"Arise O compatriot, Nigeria's call obey.
To save our Father's land..."


IKAKKE BASSEY, AMT
Citizen of Nigeria
Resident in Cross River State.



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