© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Widespread condemnation for INEC on social media following election postponement
IT must be a very rough period for the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, as condemnation and severe criticisms have continued to pour in for the commission following the eleventh-hour rescheduling of the 2019 general elections.
The condemnation has been unanimous on the social media coming from the supporters of the two dominant political parties in Nigeria, as well as those who clamour for a third force.
INEC had consistently maintained that it was fully prepared for the elections and that everything was set, but the commission rose from a marathon meeting that started on Friday evening and lasted into the wee hours of Saturday to announce that it was postponing the elections by one week “following careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan”.
“You guys don’t take Nigerians seriously. You wake up on PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION DAY and postpone the election. Just one job, and you couldn’t do it, and Nigerians have to suffer for your incompetence,” wrote an obviously angry Twitter user ‘Golden voice‘.
Uche Jombo-Rodriguez, a popular Nollywood actress also tweeted: “This is very disappointing @inecnigeria. International observers are in Nigeria, youth corps members assigned to you are sleeping on the floor, people travelled to vote, budget spent. It’s been 4years in the making yet you waited till today – election day to postpone it.”
Many also found it insensitive in INEC’s part that the announcement of the rescheduling of the elections did not come with an apology of any sort for the many that must have travelled long distances just to be able to cast their votes.
“When our uncaring airlines postpone our flights & just tell us it’s for “operational reasons”, they at least pretend to “regret any inconveniences this may cause.” INEC couldn’t even be bothered to pretend that it regrets any inconveniences caused to us. Poor!” tweeted Joe Abah, a former Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms.
Pius Adesanmi, a Canada-based Nigerian academic, wrote in a similar manner addressing INEC. “Haughty arrogance. It was a difficult decision. And patata. And patata. You’ve just bungled d only job u had after burning billions in public funds. No apologies to anybody. Nigerians are so used to this kind of treatment by irresponsible public officials it almost feels normal.”
Even presidential media aide, Bashir Ahmad, joined in the condemnation
“INEC, A lot of people traveled travelled their vote today, some for many hours and some from abroad, but you did such a thing just few hours to the polls. Terrible!” he wrote.
Another angry voter who had travelled to his voting destination wrote: “INEC had Thursday or Friday morning to cancel the election or even earlier, they had to wait for most of us to travel, mine was 4hrs some people did more.”
Some others maintained that somebody must have to resign or be fired especially given that INEC had four years to prepare for this election.
“So who will resign? Who will be fired? Who will be held responsible for this epic embarrassment to the country? We have international observers here already. We have families who travelled since Thurs. Some borrowed money…this must not just go quietly as usual,” wrote one Saadah M.
Similarly, another Twitter user, Abba Kalgo, wrote: “If the INEC chairman has any modicum of honour, decency or pride, he would immediately tender his resignation from that office. No! his resignation should be demanded or better yet, he should be suspended from that office.”