A civil rights organization, National Democratic Front (NDF) has seen the shift in the dates for the conduct of the 2015 Nigeria general elections as a master stroke by chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Attahiru Jega to shame his detractors.
In a statement in Abuja today, the Coordinator of the Front, Comrade Philip Agbese said that the decision to shift the dates has cleared Professor Jega from some allegations that he has been procured to do the bidding of a particular ethnic group and certain political actors.
According to him, the postponement has shown Professor Jega’s respect for the rights of about 22 million Nigerians who might have been denied the right to vote at the polls.
He commended what he termed the remarkable improvement in inclusive democratic ethos even as he acknowledged the INEC respect also for human lives “going by the concerns raised by the security chiefs.
“Professor Jega has proven to the world that he is a man with conscience. He has shown uncommon love for popular views and his concern for the lives and property of the common Nigerians. He was appointed not just to conduct elections but also protect national interests. This he has exhibited. It is commendable and should be emulated by all public office holders.”
He however appealed to INEC and the security chiefs to see the postponement of elections as a window to address the basic challenges confronting the commission with a view to conduct free, transparent and credible elections.
“You should not give in to the antics of selfish politicians that are out to make a political capital out of the postponement.”
Agbese advised Nigerians not to see the postponement as a setback but that they should see it as a unique opportunity to make a mark in nation’s democratic journey. [myad]