The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday, received knocks and praises over its decision to postpone the March 11 governorship and state assembly elections to March 18.
The electoral umpire, late Wednesday night, postponed the state balloting due to its inability to commence the reconfiguration of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System, BVAS, machines, on time.
The Court of Appeal, on Wednesday, gave the commission the nod to reconfigure the BVAS used for the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly polls in readiness for the state elections. Shortly after getting the court’s nod, the INEC management went into a meeting after which it postponed the governorship polls to enable it to reconfigure the over 176,000 BVAS machines which would require five days to do.
The postponement elicited mixed views in the polity.
The Labour Party, LP, said INEC’s handling of the presidential poll had eroded its confidence in the electoral umpire, which it said could no longer be trusted.
Political parties in the country, under the aegis of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, while supporting the postponement however warned that the electorate will no longer accept excuses for poor performance.
This was as Deputy Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Abiodun Fadeyi; and Nigeria’s former envoy to the Philippines, Dr Yemi Farounbi, said the postponement of the polls was inevitable considering that INEC had to reconfigure the BVAS for the elections.
This INEC can no longer be trusted — LP
The Labour Party said the recent conduct of the INEC had done incalculable damage to the trust Nigerians once had in the commission’s promise to let the people’s vote count.