The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has described the postponement of the Saturday’s elections as a national embarrassment and setback.
The President, Rev Samson Ayokunle, expressed the CAN’s view through his Special Assistant, Media and Communications, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, in a statement in Abuja on Saturday.
According to the association, it first came as fake news that was totally far from the truth thinking that the Independent Electoral Commission(INEC) got enough time to prepare for these elections.
“They got the needed fund released to them earlier enough and also assured Nigerians that elections would go on as scheduled without any issue.
“This is a National embarrassment on the nation, as big as Nigeria with many highly qualified professionals, yet we postponed the elections on the early hours of Election Day,” he said.
Ayokunle said that the postponement was the unexplainable, adding that smaller nations were doing better.
“With the 2015 election, the whole world is expecting a better electoral process but it seems the INEC is not ready to build on the 2015 foundation,” he said.
The CAN president said that economically, the postponement had led to the loss of billions of Naira in pterms of movement of election materials nationwide and the closure of the borders, seaports and airports.
He said that many local and international observers were already in Nigeria but, rather they would be forced back to their countries and come back again by next week or stay for extra one week and incurred additional expenses.
“Electorate who travelled to their home towns to vote have to go back to their places of work now and come back in a week’s time.
“There is great question on the credibility of the elections now because of doubt on safe-keeping of these election materials where they were sent to.
“How are we sure the ballot papers, card readers and other materials will not get into wrong hands for election manipulation,” he said.
The cleric stressed that no excuse was strong and good enough to justify the postponement by INEC in the early hour of an Election Day.
According to him, This development has led us almost loosing confidence in INEC and its chairman.
“INEC has disappointed Nigerians and the international community. We hope we would not hear of another postponement again after this.
“From all indications, INEC unilaterally postponed the elections without any input from other stakeholders such as the leading Presidential candidates, their parties, the National Council of States and others.
“We recalled that when it happened in 2015 for “security reasons”, the National Council of State was carried along,” he said.
He questioned how the logistics issues claimed by INEC could be justified, stressing that the excuse came when all stakeholders were already in the fields.
According to him, this kind of disappointment can cause voters’ apathy for so many reasons because it has raised serious question on the credibility and integrity of the Commission.
He, however urged Nigerians to remain calm, prayerful and focused.
The cleric said that the association believed with the prayers already offered, all would work out well for our nation in the name of Jesus.
The cleric again urged Nigerians to remain calm and maintain peace wherever they were.
He encouraged them not to be discouraged but be determined to decide who presides over the affairs of the nation.(NAN)