Poll Shift: Balarabe Musa spares INEC

February 16, 2019
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Former Kaduna State Governor Balarabe Musa has expressed disappointment over the postponement of the general elections and argued that INEC was never prepared for the exercise in the first place.

INEC announced the postponement few hours to the kickoff of the February 16 presidential and National Assembly polls.

The chairman of the Commission, Mahmoud Yakubu, while announcing the postponement in Abuja, attributed the step to “overwhelming logistics and operational challenges”.

The commission fixed Feb. 23 and March 9 as new dates for the Presidential and National Assembly elections and, the Governorship and State Assembly polls respectively.

Mr Musa, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Kaduna on Saturday, said he was disappointed, but not surprised, at the development.

“I am not surprised because INEC was never ready for the exercise, given the level of its preparations,” he said.

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“INEC had serious funding challenges; what was appropriated to the commission by the National Assembly was not adequate and everyone knew it.

“We are not even sure if the approved amount was released to the electoral body by the Federal Government.

“The logistics and operational challenges are glaring. There are also serious security challenges that may affect the agency in the course of the elections.

“The security services are facing the same funding crises and most of them are living in fear.

“You can also see the serious challenges being faced by the Judiciary, who are supposed to play a major role in the election process,” Mr Musa said.

“So, I must say that I am disappointed, but, again, as I said, I am not surprised.

“I hope that all the stakeholders will take the necessary measures to help INEC address the issues before Feb, 23, the new date for the Presidential polls, because the President can only hand over power to an elected person.”

Mr Musa called on Nigerians to remain calm, while waiting for the new dates for the polls.

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