The Christian Press Association of Nigeria (CPAN) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to upgrade its systems to enable Nigerians vote anywhere in the country since it is gradually making a tradition of election postponement.
INEC had postponed last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly (NASS) election to February 23, 2019; attributing the postponement to logistics and operational problems.
The President of CPAN, Deacon Bola Adewara, in a statement on Sunday said Nigerians cannot continue to risk their lives travelling across the country to cast their votes all the time; hence, the need for INEC to upgrade its system to make Nigerians’ votes count anywhere they are casted.
While the association described the sudden postponement of the elections as ridiculous and unacceptable; it lamented that the human and financial costs of the postponement is incalculable.
“Not only has Nigeria lost so much, Nigerians have equally been short-changed.
“So many Nigerians left their jobs and families to travel to their various home-states to cast their votes. Would such Nigerians go back again next week?
“So many people shifted their weddings, burials and other programmes from February 16 to 23rd because of the elections. They have printed their invitations, families and friends are ready for the day. How would they now cope with the election coming up on February 23, 2019?,” he queried.
Adewara posits that such indiscriminate postponement and forceful shutting down of Nigeria because of elections is retrogressive and unacceptable.
“The arrant incompetence of INEC should not rob Nigerians of their daily visions and programmes. It is gradually becoming a tradition for INEC to take such liberty for license as several elections have been postponed in the past and Nigerians forced to accept them without batting an eyelid. This oddity cannot continue. INEC should apologise to Nigerians and sit up,” he said.
He however encouraged Nigerians to put the fiasco behind them and summon courage to cast their votes wherever they desire to do so.
“We must not be discouraged by this disappointment and disenfranchise ourselves in an election like this that would define the future of our country,” he encouraged.