It is really sad for Nigeria and democracy in Africa.
These were the words of Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the presidential vote until February 23.
According to the county chief who was part of a 38 member delegation steered by former Botswana President Festus Mogae, she was ready to oversee the election by 6 am only to learn that the long awaited poll had been called off at 2 am.
“Ready at 6am for our observer mission but alas! the Election was postponed at 2am! 5 hours to opening of the polling stations. Really sad for Nigeria and democracy in Africa,” she said.
According to the INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu the delay was needed because of logistical and operational concerns, in order to ensure the vote would be free and fair.
“The commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the election as scheduled is no longer feasible,” he said.
On the other hand, President Muhammadu Buhari has through a spokesperson accused the opposition of “orchestrating the postponement.”
The Opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar has on his part noted that the delay is proof that Buhari is planning to rig the election.
“By instigating this postponement, the Buhari administration hopes to disenfranchise the Nigerian electorate in order to ensure that turn out is low on the rescheduled date,” he said, adding, “They are desperate and will do anything in their power to avoid their rejection by the Nigerian people.”
Ngilu was selected following her political career that has seen her rise to become the senior-most female political leader in the country, having served in various elective capacities.
“Governor Ngilu has been a public servant for more than 27 years, as Member of Parliament for Kitui Central Constituency for four consecutive terms, from 1992 to 2013, and as a Cabinet secretary in the national government of from 2002 to 2015,” the statement read.