The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said it was shocked by the last minute postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections earlier scheduled to hold on Saturday, February 16, 2019.
The labour union advised the federal government to declare a two or three-day public holiday to enable workers travel to cast their votes following voter apathy that may have greeted the postponement of the elections, The Nation reports.
The president of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, in a statement said many Nigerians would not have been able to vote due to logistics problems if the election held.
“We at the Nigerian Labour Congress join other Nigerians in expressing our shock at the last minute postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled to hold on Saturday, February 16, 2019,” Wabba said.
“We share in the pains of those who in an uncommon show of patriotism, had to travel long distances to perform their civic duty.
We similarly understand the outrage of those who had incurred huge and unquantifiable logistic costs.
No explanation will be good enough given INEC’s repeated assurances and the zeal of Nigerians to cast their vote.
“However, given the fact that had the election taken place, a huge number of Nigerians would have been disenfranchised on account of gross and wide-spread logistic deficit, the postponement, as painful as it is, is a lesser evil of the two.”
The NLC urged Nigerians not to be disillusioned by the postponement but brace up for the rescheduled election. Meanwhile, Mike Igini, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom has revealed that the failures of political parties to stick to INEC’s timetables and a plethora of petitions against the commission with regards to primaries, was one of the main reasons why the 2019 general elections was postponed.
Igini made this known when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
According to him, issues stemming from various party primaries caused a delay in the printing of ballot boxes which indirectly added to the rescheduling of the elections.
He also claimed that INEC was left with just one month to produce over 400m ballot papers due to the way the parties handled their primaries.
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