ABUJA: THE Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), a prodemocracy organisation, has rejected the recent calls for the postponement of next month’s general election.
The group, a statement its Chairman, Comrade Zikirullahi Ibrahim, said there was “something fishy” and “untoward” about the call.
National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki, recently suggested the deferment.
“The attention of the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has been drawn to comments credited to the National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) to the effect that the general elections slated for February 14 and February 21, 2015 respectively be postponed,” stated Ibrahim.
“Ostensibly, the NSA’s reason for this call is to allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) distributes the remaining Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) that is yet to be picked up. For us at the TMG, there is something fishy and untoward about a call like this being made by the NSA less than three weeks to the elections,” the statement read.
It added that the appropriate body to make that call would be the INEC, which was constitutionally empowered to make decisions relating to elections in Nigeria.
“Our considered view is that if INEC is having any difficulties in pulling off the elections, it should be the body to come and make that position known. It is disingenuous for the NSA to be publicly second guessing INEC.” The group added that the call was a ploy to “pull the rug under the feet of INEC” and create uncertainty around an electoral process that Nigerians and the international community had invested in.
TMG views this call by the NSA as an affront on the stability of the 2015 electoral process, and it stands condemned, Ibrahim said.
“We also wonder why such a call is coming so close to the elections, when INEC itself has not come out to say it is unable to go ahead with the polls.” He commended the INEC despite some glitches.
“The issue of collection of PVCs has been the way it had seen so far because “a good number’ of Nigerians who should have gone out to pick theirs’ have not done so. Moreover, INEC has been intensifying efforts, including the de-centralization of the collection process to ensure many more Nigerians pick up their PVCs. In any case, if INEC believes it is no longer in a position to hold the elections on the said dates, it should be the one to make such a position known.” Ibrahim added, “We call on Nigerians to use all peaceful and legal avenues to resist and reject any attempt to truncate the 2015 electoral process.”
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY