Nigerian President and presidential candidate of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) Goodluck Jonathan waves to supporters during a rally in Maiduguri on January 24, 2015. Boko Haram fighters have killed 15 villagers near Maiduguri, the epicen ~ TUNJI OMIRIN
Abuja - The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has expressed disappointment at the rescheduling of the 2015 general elections.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on grounds of insecurity, a development Fashola nonetheless said was an abdication by the Federal Government of its primary duty of protecting the life and property of Nigerian citizens.
The governor stressed that the postponement for reasons of insecurity was an “ambush” of INEC by the ruling People’s Democratic Party-controlled Federal Government aimed at “blackmailing and arm-twisting” the electoral body to shift the date for the exercise.
He described the shifting of elections date as “a great set back in democracy” because the process and outcome of the elections were being watched globally.
“I think that when a country sets in motion a process like this, it ought to know that there would be political and economic consequences and that is why investors watch what is going on and the global community,” Fashola said
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The governor added that the postponement was a move by ruling party to avoid defeat at the elections.
He dismissed the reason of insecurity being touted by the Federal Government noting that countries like Afghanistan, Syria and other countries, where war and international conflicts existed, had carried out elections even in the face of the situation.
“I don’t see why the Federal Government should give that as a reason since it never objected when INEC set the date of the election.
"I mean it’s really a very low point for governance in this country because whether we go to elections or not, government will still have a duty to secure this nation and if countries like Afghanistan, Syria and all those countries where there was war and internal conflicts have held elections, I don’t see why not,”he said.
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Fashola appealed to disappointed Nigerians and party supporters to remain calm.
“This is just a matter of time and the momentum of Change is already on and the momentum is a Nigerian people’s momentum; but it’s just that it would have consequences for us as a nation, the credibility of our governance is regrettably diminished.
"I think that the reality is that INEC was ambushed by the PDP and the Federal Government and I think Nigerians must be disappointed but I use this opportunity to appeal to Nigerians to remain calm, especially to the supporter and members of the APC.”
There have been fears of a revolt if elections were deferred in Africa’s most populous country and biggest economy.