The postponement of the 2019 general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission is a deliberate abuse of power by the commission, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre has said.
The centre also called for an urgent investigation by the National Assembly into the sudden postponement of the elections by INEC.
CISLAC’s, Executive Director, Auwal Musa, said it was seriously perturbed by the action of INEC few hours to the presidential and National Assembly elections.
Musa said, “While we express unreserved disappointment over the reported poor preparatory processes by the electoral body that disproportionately hampered adequate deployment of electoral materials to many parts of the country with resultant postponement, we condemn such abrupt decision informed by deliberate abuse of independent power that may discredit subsequent position by the commission as an ‘independent body’ before national and international observers.”
He added, “We are concerned by the wastages and losses the postponement would cause the country, civil society and international community that have committed financial and human resources to observation missions to ensure free, fair and credible elections that will be acceptable to all.”
The centre noted that with the new electoral dates, there was a need to worry about the safety, integrity and security of election materials which had been disseminated across the country.
Musa said, “We, therefore, call on the National Assembly to, as a matter of urgency, to constitute an ad hoc committee to investigate the sudden postponement to clear the commission of public doubt that her decision was not informed by desperate desires of unjust individuals or groups who want to assume or sustain power by all illegitimate means.
“We demand adequate security for both materials and human resources deployed by the commission so far to the field to avert susceptibility to violations and attacks by unpatriotic individuals or groups across the country.”
The CISLAC boss added, “We call on the commission to tender an unreserved apology to Nigerians and international observers, who have committed their time, presence and financial resources to monitor the electoral process with an assurance that elections would hold as earlier scheduled.
“This apology must also be rendered to Nigerian voters who have invested time and resources to sacrifice the day for them to discharge their civic responsibility.”