By Naomi Ottoh. February 16, 2019, news/comments
With the sudden postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly election at the early hours of today by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) , citing logistics crisis, has threw Nigerians into shock, while some have described the commission’s action has “ Global disgrace and shame, putting the country’s image to mocking and retrogression again”
Meanwhile, various international and local observers have lamented with pains, saying that they have spent huge resources till this moment, only for INEC to shift election a week ahead. Afrikanwatch gathered that, it is of this that observers met at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, at about 11.00am today, inside the Plateau Ballroom of the hotel to seek for way forward..
However, the meeting had in attendance Commonwealth Observer team, EU Observer team, AU Observer team and ECOWAS Observer mission, and others. The meeting lasted for about an hour. Sighted at the gathering include leaders of each international and local observers, Mr Clement Nwankwo, Convener, the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room and Ms. Idayat Hassan, Director, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD). Others were Mr Auwal Musa-Rafsanjani, Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Mr Samson Itodo, Executive Director, YIAGA AFRICA, among others.
Shortly after the meeting, journalists approached the Head, ECOWAS Election Observation Mission and former Liberian President, Mrs Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, on why the meeting and the intention, but she declined comment, and only had this to say “We will brief you “I cannot say anything now”
Nevertheless, a copy of the meeting agenda gotten by NAN with a titled: ”Meeting of Heads of International Election Observation Missions in Nigeria.” The agenda read: ”Opening remarks by H.E. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Head of ECOWAS Election Observation Mission and H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, Head of AU Election Observation Mission. “Discussion on the issue of postponement of the elections and update on the current political situation. “Discussion on the way forward; and Any Other Business (AOB).’
It could be recalled that many
international and local observers had earlier kept vigil on Nigeria to have
independent assessment of the country’s polls and give reports. Reports have it
that INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, had, few hours to the Presidential and
National Assembly elections, announced the decision of the commission to shift
the elections by one week. Yakubu, who shifted the Presidential and National
Assembly elections to Feb. 23, also postponed the Governorship and State Houses
of Assembly polls to March 9.
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