Despite polls shift by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from February 14 and 28 to March 28 and April 11, President Goodluck Jonathan has assured that he remains committed to the sanctity of May 29, 2015 as the terminal date of his first term in office. May 29 is the official handing over date when the winners of the presidential and governorship elections are sworn in. It is also observed in the country as democracy day.
INEC had on Saturday announced its decision to postpone the February elections, citing security challenges in the country and mostly in the Northern part as the reason for the shift. Attahiru Jega, the electoral body’s chairman, had told journalists during a briefing at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja that though the commission was ready issue of security of its personnel as well as other ad hoc monitors was also important.
A statement signed by the presidential spokesman, Rueben Abati, said the president appealed to all concerned to accept the adjustment of the election dates by INEC in good faith. “Following the adjustment of the dates for the 2015 general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from February 14 and 28 to March 28 and April 11, yesterday, President Goodluck Jonathan has reassured the nation of his commitment to the sanctity of May 29, 2015 as the terminal date of his first term in office.
“He strongly reaffirms that May 29 is, has been, and will remain sacrosanct. “The president appeals to all stakeholders to accept the adjustment of the election dates by INEC in good faith, as the electoral body has a responsibility to conduct credible elections in which every Nigerian of voting age is afforded the opportunity to exercise their civic right without any form of hindrance.
“President Jonathan believes that this is not a time to trade blames or make statements that may over- heat the polity, but a time to show understanding and support the electoral com- mission to conduct the elections successfully. “It is the president understands that INEC’s decision ought not to generate acrimony since it acted within its powers under the law and in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.”