**Election postponement is saddening, disappointing and frustrating
**INEC should be more serious
By Lola Seriki-Idahosa, Kaduna, North West, Nigeria ….Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) kaduna State chapter has debunked the false alarm raised about killing in Kaduna State, saying that it was an attempt to steer violence in kaduna during the election.
In a press statement on their stands in postponement of the 2019 general elections and other burning issues, signed by the kaduna CAN chairman, Rev. John Joseph Hayab and made available to TraceReporter said government statement was made to look like a breaking news, which is “false in its entirety “.
According to the Press statement, “We woke up today with the news of the postponement of the general elections earlier slated for today 16/2/2019, this news came to us very few hours to voting time. This is saddening, it is disapointing and frustrating. The question in the air is “why now”? CAN Kaduna State wish to register the fact that she is aware of challenges that may be encountered and we expect that INEC should have been aware that challenges will come and should have plan against some of this challenges in advance.
THE ISSUES “The statement of the postponement reads in part, ” Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operation plan and the determination to conduct a free, fair and credible elections, the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the elections as schedule is no longer feasible.” This to us is a clear poor management of logistics. Looking at the fact that this information came at the last hour, a time when the Ad-hoc staff, electoral observers, security personnels have been deployed. Worst so is the fact that it came after many citizens have had to travel long distances with most taking the risk of traveling late to their various towns and villages of registrations. We wonder why INEC should wait until about 2:00am to make the postponement.
Isn’t it shameful for us to say this type of postponement has ever happened.Are we saying we are not growing or are celebrating mistakes of over 8 years ago as an achievement?This is unacceptable in this century.
“Let it be recalled that at many instances in the past INEC have debunk the rumors that she was going to postponed the elections, INEC in those instance sounded loud and clear that she have deployed most of the materials leaving only the highly sensitive materials. Bringing this to the fore makes one wonder the rationale behind INEC’s delay on reviewing her implementation of logistics and operational plans only late yesterday 15/2/2019.
“We appreciate the United States of America (USA), the European Union (EU) and the international community for the interest and efforts at ensuring that Nigeria conduct a free, fair and peaceful general elections.
“CAN Kaduna State also wish to debunk the false alarm raised about killing in Kaduna State which have been made to look like a breaking news. The press statement by Mr Samuel Aruwan, the spokesman of the Governor of Kaduna state suggests that “the killings in Kajuru Local Government was committed yesterday 15/2/2019. This is false in its entirety. We are aware that the incident happened in the late hours of Sunday 10 February to 12th February, 2019, at about 1:00am at Gindin Gada, Maro Ward of Kajuru Local Government in Kaduna State where unidentified hoodlums went into the village and killed about 11 people in their sleep. Which lead to reprisals .Two of the suspects were said to have been apprehended and handed over to the Divisional Police. It was on the afternoon of the said date of the attack (as contained in the press statement) that the District Head of Kufana, Mr Titus Dauda, and four of his local chiefs were released after their invitation by the DSS State Command on the issue. We see this as an illogical intentional, premeditated attempt at steering violence in the state for whatever expected gains.
“It is disheartening that the media that supposed to be objective and the true mirror of the society has rather chosen to bow to pea nuts against her code of ethics.
OUR PRAYERS “We call on INEC to be more serious about proper management of her logistics and operational plans. CAN Kaduna Sate here also call on INEC and Government to the fact that the world is watching us. We must not give our citizens and the world the impression that we are not serious or that we cannot be trusted.
“INEC should also ensure that given the circumstances all electoral officers that were already deployed ahead of the proposed elections today are safely conveyed back to their destination, strick security should be provided at places where materials have been stored in the various state and Local Government Areas.
“We call on US, EU and the international community to strictly ensure that the travel ban earlier annouced as purnishment to the enemies of democracy and elections riggers is sustained and implemented without compromise. We equally plead with these international bodies never to be tired nor discouraged from playing her part to the success of a credible elections in Nigeria.
“The incidence of raising false alarm by the Kaduna State Government should make Nigerians realized that some of our leaders are also guilty of hate speech themselves and that makes them major actors in the game that have denied us peace and have claimed the lives of our love ones. We call on the general public to treat with disregard the press statement from the office of the Kaduna State Governor and to note that should Kaduna State experience any bridge of security before, during and after the general elections we shall hold the Kaduna State as responsible.
“We call on our media to grow above the temptations that water down our trust in them, the media houses must not allow themselves to be bought over but be objective and honest in their reportage.
BY WAY OF CONCLUSION “We are appealing to our members to be peaceful and patient with what has happened. We call on all to be willing and ready to make additional sacrifices to travel next week to cast their votes so that only the right leaders get to steer the affairs of the nation in the next four years.
“May God, in whose hand the heart of the king stands take charge the Nigerian state and guide us through it all. Amen.