OYEGUN, ACN, OTHERS REACT TO POSTPONEMENT OF NASS ELECTION
The vice presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and former governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie- Oyegun and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday described the postponement of the rescheduled National Assembly election from today to Saturday April 9, 2011 as a good development.
Oyegun said the postponement of the election would give all political parties and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) enough time to remobilize for the election. In the same vein the National Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the action was a welcomed development.
The INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega had rescheduled the National Assembly election, which was billed to hold last Saturday for next saturday as a result of logistic reasons. But yesterday, the electoral body amended the timetable for 2011 general elections, fixing the National Assembly election for this weekend. The ANPP vice presidential candidate said in as much as the postponement of National Assembly election was a right step, there was need for all the electoral materials that had been issued for the polls last Saturday to be fully accounted for.
He said it was also imperative for the INEC to sanction all those responsible for the situation that necessitated the postponement. ' We want to see all those responsible for this fiasco, including the contractors punished, including the contractors. We want to know who the contractor is and those within INEC who were giving assurances.
We want to see them punished', the former governor stated.
Similarly, a former presidential aide, Professor Julius Ihonbvere said the INEC boss should look inward and get rid of those incompetent staff within his organisation who might lead the commission into this situation. However, he described the postponement as shocking and disappointing. ' It is unbelievable. We all hold him in high esteem. He asked for a lot of money and it was provided. They said they were ready. They fixed the date,' he told Daily Sun.
A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Anambra State, Mr Okey Muo Aroh, said what the current situation meant was that Jega and INEC had failed. However, he praised the chief electoral umpire for telling Nigerians the truth. He said it was an indication that he had nothing to hide.
A public Affairs analyst, Mr Jimanze Ego Alowes agreed. He said the appointment of Jega was faulty ab-nitio. He said the INEC chairman was appointed based 'on the theory of eminent persons and not competent persons.'
According to him, Jega should have gone to the president, tender his resignation and walk away.
Faulting the INEC boss's reason for postponing the election, the public commentator said the whole issue of conducting a credible election was far beyond Jega. 'He doesn't understand the problems. We are not dealing with the vendors. We are dealing with Jega,' he added.
A Lagos based lawyer, Mr KOP Odidika told Daily Sun that the ugly development had confirmed that the INEC boss did not have what it takes to conduct the election.