In a move that drew the fury of the eighty million voter population, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria, after postponing the crucial presidential elections on Saturday, with just a few hours to the opening of polls was not spared the bashing of the incensed public.
Not only did the sudden postponement appear to deepen the allegations of conspiracy from contending parties but also showcased the INEC in the eyes of the public as a weak, porous institution that did not have the proper grasp of the task before it amid deep lying suspicion and apprehensions.
With over 70 candidates pushing to lead Africa’s biggest economy, noted for its wealth in oil, Nigeria’s presidential elections like all others are full of passion-filled exchanges and intolerance for ballot inaccuracies.
The intensity of the build-up to this year’s elections made it the most anticipated in the history of Nigeria with the two leading contenders, President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Party (APC) and former vice President Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) going hard on each other.
By announcing the postponement of the polls around dawn of Saturday, the INEC threw cold water on the process at the last minute and received tons of condemnation from the public in return. Many angry voters say the electoral commission invited heaps of condemnations on itself and did not deserve any sympathy for the shocking turn of events.
Many accuse INEC of insensitivity, as they had to make long trips to their hometowns and villages after leaving their trades and families to go across breaths and lengths of the country to exercise their electoral rights.
INEC had earlier released a statement citing “challenges in the implementation of its logistics and operational plan and a determination to conduct free, fair and credible elections” as the reason for postponing the presidential polls to another week with Governorship and State House of Assembly elections moved to early March.