UPDATE: BUHARI BEHIND NIGERIA’S ELECTION POSTPONEMENT – ATIKU

February 16, 2019
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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of instigating the postponement of the presidential and parliamentary elections in the country to disenfranchise Nigerians.

Atiku also said the postponement was a ploy by the Buhari administration to ensure that turnout of voters becomes very low on the rescheduled date in order for his party to rig the poll.

Atiku made the statement on Saturday, February 16, following the postponement of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

INEC, had, in the early hours of Saturday, postponed to February 23rd, the General election earlier scheduled for February 16th, 2019.

INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu had, while briefing newsmen at the commission’s headquarters, announced that continuing with the election as earlier scheduled for 16th February, 2019, was no longer feasible.

According to him, “Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan, and the determination to conduct free, fair, and credible elections, the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible.”

He had, therefore, announced that the presidential and National Assembly elections had been moved to February 23, 2019.

He had equally said that the governorship and state assembly elections had also been moved by one week to March 9, 2019.

Although the All Progressives Congress, APC, and its presidential candidate, President Buhari, have both condemned INEC for postponing the election, former Vice President and the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar accused the Buhari-led government of being behind the poll postponement.

Atiku said there was no reason for the postponement of the election other than that the Buhari government had seen that it had lost favour with the people and was going to lose, hence, the postponement.

According to him, “This postponement is obviously a case of the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob. By instigating this postponement, the Buhari administration hopes to disenfranchise the Nigerian electorate in order to ensure that turn out is low on the rescheduled date.

The Buhari administration has had more than enough time and money to prepare for these elections and the Nigerian people were poised and ready to perform their civic responsibility by voting in the elections earlier scheduled for Saturday, 16 February 2019,Atiku said.

Knowing that the Nigerian people are determined to reject them, they are desperate and will do anything in their power to avoid their rejection by the Nigerian people,” he said.

Their plan is to provoke the public, hoping for a negative reaction, and then use that as an excuse for further anti-democratic acts,” the presidential hopeful added.

Please come out to vote on Saturday, 23 February and Saturday, 9 March respectively. Frustrate those who do not want this election to hold by coming out in very large numbers. That is the best antidote to their plans.”

“I call on all Nigerians to be patient. We have tolerated the maladministration of this government for four years. We can extend our tolerance a few more days and give them our verdict via our votes”.

Below is his full statement:

Election Postponement: Remain Peaceful In Face of Provocation

Yola, Nigeria, 16 Feb 2019: Dear citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,

As you know, the Independent National Electoral Commission has announced a postponement of the elections until 23 February and 9 March respectively.

The Buhari administration has had more than enough time and money to prepare for these elections and the Nigerian people were poised and ready to perform their civic responsibility by voting in the elections earlier scheduled for Saturday, 16 February 2019.

This postponement is obviously a case of the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob. By instigating this postponement, the Buhari administration hopes to disenfranchise the Nigerian electorate in order to ensure that turn out is low on the rescheduled date. Nigerians must frustrate their plans by coming out in even greater numbers on Saturday, 23 February and Saturday, 9 March respectively.

Knowing that the Nigerian people are determined to reject them, they are desperate and will do anything in their power to avoid their rejection by the Nigerian people.

Their plan is to provoke the public, hoping for a negative reaction, and then use that as an excuse for further anti-democratic acts.

As such, I call on all Nigerians to be patient. We have tolerated the maladministration of this government for four years. We can extend our tolerance a few more days and give them our verdict via our votes.

Maintain peace and be law abiding. Do not react to this provocation with anger, violence or any action that might be exploited by those who do not want this election to hold. Remain calm. We will overcome this. You can postpone an election, but you cannot postpone destiny.

Please come out to vote on Saturday, 23 February and Saturday, 9 March respectively. Frustrate those who do not want this election to hold by coming out in very large numbers. That is the best antidote to their plans.

May God bless you and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Atiku Abubakar

Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party & Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007.

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