The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organisation has expressed support for the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) postponement of the general elections, saying it was in the nation’s interest.
The party’s position is contained in a statement by the director of media and publicity of the campaign organisation, Femi Fani-Kayode, on Sunday in Abuja.
INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega, had at a news conference Saturday night, announced the postponement of the general elections earlier scheduled to commence on Saturday 14, by six weeks.
Jega said that the presidential and National Assembly elections slated for February 14 would now hold on March 28, while governorship and state Houses of Assembly fixed for February 28 had been shifted to April 11.
He explained that the postponement was predicated on advice by the nation’s security chiefs, who said that the military had a major operation against the insurgency in the North-East.
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”Rather than do an inconclusive elections, we had better wait until there is adequate security,’’ Jega had said, and added that the decision to postpone the elections was reached after wide consultations with critical stakeholders.
Fani-Kayode said that the organisation concurred with the decision to shift the elections, stressing that it was in the interest of deepening democracy in the country and in national interest.
“INEC must be commended for showing the courage to shift the elections, after acknowledging the fact that its state of preparedness was not 100 percent.
“Since this decision has been taken in the interest of deepening democracy and in national interest, we accept it in good faith.
“We commend INEC’s courage and obvious commitment to ensuring a free and fair election, ” he said.
He said that with the postponement, INEC had allayed the fears of many Nigerians that may not have the opportunity to vote for the candidates and parties of their choice on election days.
Fani-Kayode maintained that INEC had by the decision, ensured that no one would be disenfranchised and had helped to guarantee the safety and security of Nigerians during the elections.
He added that the shift would enable the nation’s security agencies to put better measures in place to secure the North-East and ensure that elections could hold in the region.
He, however, disagreed with All Progressives Congress’ (APC) stance on issues of the polls shift.
“By insisting that the elections should be conducted on February 14, the opposition was not only dangerously flirting with chaos, but also putting our country firmly on the path of confrontation, division, injustice, disaster and destruction.
“This is especially so, given the fact that no less than 34 percent of eligible voters have not been able to access their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
“A situation where such a large percentage of our people would have been disenfranchised is unacceptable and the fact that the APC was insensitive to that fact speaks volumes,’’ he said.
The campaign organisation’s spokesman said that INEC must have drawn a useful guide from available security reports from the North-East, following acts of insurgency.
He urged PDP supporters to remain calm and patient, stressing that the party was strong.
“Our candidate is confident; our course is just; our God is mighty and our victory is assured. No matter what happens and no matter how long it takes, we shall prevail, ‘’ he said.