By Habiba Broger
Nigerians in Europe has described the postponement of the 2019 general elections as “sad, insensitive and a conspiracy against the Buhari administration”.
They were reacting to the re-scheduled presidential and national assembly elections as well as that of the governorship and state houses of assembly.
The presidential election earlier scheduled to hold in Saturday was shifted to Feb. 23 while that of governorship would now hold on March 9 as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In telephone interviews with the Naija Politico (NAN) in Bern, they expressed disappointment over the development which they described as act of incompetence.
Mr Bayo Michael, Chairman of the Nigeria In Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) Brussels, said that the decision taken by INEC reeks of “insensitivity, irresponsibility and incompetence”.
“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.’’ he stressed.
Similarly, Mr Godwin Azu, a political Analyst in London described the postponed election as “highly suspicious and unacceptable”.
“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,” Azu said.
In the same vein, 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.
Others who spoke from Spain, Germany and Italy said they were not against the postponement but the timing of the announcement.
While urging INEC to make adequate preparation ahead of the new dates slated for voting, they called on voters to be resilient and committed to their civic responsibility.
NAN gathered that a large number of Nigerians in Europe are in the country to vote and also serve as observers in the election.
Also Sen. Magnus Abe, (APC- Rivers South East) said that INEC owed Nigerians a detailed explanations on its decision to postpone the elections.
Abe said this in an interview with Newsmen in Port Harcourt while reacting to the decision of the electoral commission to shift the national polls.
“Election should be free, fair and credible and it has become clear to INEC that with the logistic challenges they are facing it will be impossible to hold the elections.
“I think INEC has done the right thing to postponed the elections and to enable it to prepare better.
“But I believe that INEC owes Nigerians a clear explanation to why the country would have to be subjected to this kind of challenge.
“The personal plans, financial fallout’s of this kind of decision are going to affect things in a whole lot.
“They (INEC officials) owe Nigerians a more detailed explanation about why this has to be done at this time,” he said.