ACN Rejects Move To Postpone National Assembly Poll In Some States

Source: THEWILL. -

ABUJA, April 05, (THEWILL) - The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has rejected the reported plan by INEC to postpone the forthcoming National Assembly election in nine states, including Lagos, to give the commission enough time to reprint defective ballot papers or take stock of the ballots used last Saturday in the affected states.

In a statement issued in Ilorin, Kwara State, today, by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party warned that failure to hold the National Assembly poll on the same day across the country would be an invitation to rigging, thuggery and violence.

''Anything short of a simultaneous holding of the National Assembly elections across the country on Saturday is not acceptable to our party,'' it said.

ACN suggested to INEC that instead of a fresh postponement of the National Assembly election in the nine states, as reported, the commission should go ahead and hold the Governorship and State Assembly election on Saturday, April 9th, get the materials needed for the National Assembly poll ready and hold it on April 16th and then the Presidential election on April 26th.

''In any case, nothing is sacrosanct about the present order of elections, which was imposed on INEC by the National Assembly for their own selfish reasons. Fortunately, a court has pronounced that INEC is the constitutionally-mandated authority to prescribe the order of elections.

''Therefore, this is a golden opportunity for INEC to assume that responsibility and reorder the elections along the lines we have suggested, in view of the fact that the commission is reportedly not ready to hold the National Assembly in all parts of the country this Saturday,'' the party said.

It said such an action by INEC will also be in line with true federalism, adding: ''In a true federalist state, the federating states come first. That means the order of election should have started with the Governorship and State House of Assembly poll, followed by the National Assembly and then the Presidential election.''

ACN said its persistent demand for a strict adherence to the right way of doing things, as far as the 2011 general elections are concerned, is in the overall interest of Nigerians and the growth of democracy.

''When we said that the January date for the general elections, as announced by INEC, was not feasible, some critics slammed us. Well, they have now seen that even when the elections were eventually moved to April, INEC is still not fully ready. We will continue to advise INEC to ensure that the 2011 general elections are successful,'' the party said.