National Security Adviser Wants Election Postponed, Never Says APC

By Adedayo Ogunleye, Abuja

Speculations about a plot to postpone the forthcoming general elections gained validity as the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, on Thursday made a case for postponement of the February 2015 election to allow more time for the distribution of voter cards.

Dasuki who made the call Thursday in London, UK, while speaking at London think-tank, Chatham House, claimed that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, needs more time to ensure that all Nigerians who duly registered to collect their Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs, to enable them participate in the ballot.

Dasuki also stated that he had conferred with the INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega, whom he said agreed that a postponement within the three months allowed by the Electoral Act would be a good idea.

The NSA said INEC had 30 million cards still left in its possession after distributing 30 million cards in 2014.

He stated that even though INEC had assured him the distribution would be completed for the February polls, he believed it would be more meaningful to allow more time for a successful election.

Dasuki, however, also gave the assurance that the elections in Nigeria would free and without violence.

“The 2015 elections are expected to be relatively peaceful and violence free. The Federal Government has taken all necessary measures to ensure this by making adequate provisions for INEC, security agencies and by supporting numerous sensitisation programs,” he stated.

The security adviser also gave assurances that the elections would hold in the terrorism ravaged North east and that internally displaced persons in the region would be able to vote.

“As far as is possible we are determined that adequate security will be in place to enable elections in all the areas in the north east that are safe, and that the IDP’s will be provided with the opportunity to exercise their vote”, he said.

Dasuki’s call for a delay in the election appears to have learnt some credence to speculations in the public sphere that amidst fears of dwindling popularity and an impending defeat at the polls, the presidency was considering postponement of the general elections and the installation of an interim government.

In a swift reaction to the NSA’s call, the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, rejected the proposal in strong terms, asserting Dasuki was speaking the mind of the presidency which the party described as on the verge of being defeated, and hence needs more time to garner support.

In a statement issued by its national publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, the APC warned that “under no circumstance must the elections be scuttled” adding that the turn of events has “exposed the hitherto clandestine plot by the Jonathan Administration to push for the postponement of the polls, using all sorts of cheap tricks.”

‘Now that we have found the smoking gun, we are urging the international community, in particular, to urgently extract a commitment from President Goodluck Jonathan that the elections will hold as scheduled next month, and that he would respect the outcome, just as we have said,” the party said.

Warning the constitutional crisis that will be triggered by such postponement could undermine the nation’s democracy, the APC insisted that all Nigerians should reject the plot to postpone the elections.

”After realizing it will be rejected by Nigerians who have borne the brunt of its mis-governance over the years, after realizing that its campaign of calumny against our presidential candidate has failed, the Jonathan Administration has now started to play its last card, which is the postponement of the election,” it said.

The APC alleged that “Jonathan Administration has employed all the tricks in the books to scuttle the forthcoming polls.”

“They tried to hide under terrorist attacks in the North-east and the fact that Nigeria is at war to shift the elections, this did not fly. They used the DSS to invade our Data Centre and then concoct the allegation that we are planning to hack into INEC’s Data Base, it did not fly as INEC said its Data Base cannot be hacked.”






     

     

    The APC also alleged that the presidency had recently sponsored willing hands to make the television rounds to propose that the elections could not hold as planned with the excuse that INEC is not ready even though the electoral umpire has said it is ready to conduct the polls.

    It equally alleged that there were plans to orchestrate violence for which the opposition would be blamed and for which opposition figures would be arrested and detained.

    “There are also alleged plans to stage-manage some high profile cases of violence and arson, for which the opposition will be blamed and then its leaders arrested in droves, all in an effort to scuttle the polls. For those who find these hard to believe, we ask them to look at the sheer madness of a state governor placing a newspaper advert wishing our presidential candidate dead! The possible repercussions of this kind of provocative act are better imagined, had our party not been a peaceful party, the APC stated.

    APC said never before has there been so much desperation on the part of any government to remain in office at all costs, even when it is clear that it has run out of luck.

     

     

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