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Poll shift: APC calls for INEC’s neutrality, impartiality



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Spokesman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo (SAN), has condemned the cancelation of dates for the general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood, had early Saturday morning, few hours before the commencement of the presidential and National Assembly election, announced the postponement of the election to February 23, while the governorship and House of Assembly poll scheduled earlier for March 2, is now to hold on March 9.

But reacting in a statement by Keyamo, the ruling party said it hopes that INEC will remain “neutral and impartial” as there are suggestions that “this postponement has been orchestrated in collusion with the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)”.

“We condemn and deprecate this tardiness of the electoral umpire in the strongest terms possible. President Muhammadu Buhari had since cooperated fully with INEC by ensuring everything it demanded to conduct free and fair elections were promptly made available to it. This news is, therefore, a huge disappointment to us and to our teeming supporters nationwide and around the world, many of whom have come into the country to exercise their franchise.

“Now, it may be up to its old trick again. We have earlier raised the alarm that the PDP is bent on discrediting this process the moment it realized it cannot make up the numbers to win this election. We are only urging INEC not collude with the PDP on this.

“We are truly worried because as early as Friday morning, some known PDP Social Media influencers unwittingly announced this postponement, but quickly deleted the message and apologized to the public that it was fake news. We do not want to be forced to a situation of announcing our total loss of confidence in INEC, because we know where that would leave our democracy.

“It is in the light of the above that we wish to appeal to Nigerians and our supporters to be patient, calm and resolute despite this temporary setback. Let us not give anyone, especially the PDP, the opportunity to plunge this nation into crises, which is what they earnestly desire. Its imminent defeat is just a few days away.

“Lastly, we wish to draw the attention of INEC and the world to observe that the PDP has clearly and openly said it plans to announce parallel results through some funny device it has procured or developed.

“We wish to re-iterate that it is only INEC that is legally and constitutionally empowered to declare results and it constitutes an offence for anyone to do so. We urge INEC to speak up now and warn the PDP to desist from this ignoble act that is capable of plunging the nation into a crisis of immeasurable proportions.”

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