BY AMOS TAUNA, KADUNA – A Presidential aspirant and former National Committee Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, has condemned in strong terms for whatsoever reason the idea of putting off the 2019 general elections put forward by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a statement by the aspirant’s spokesman, Murkhtar Zubairu Sirajo, Senator Makarfi said, “The report that the Independent National Electoral Commission Chairman (INEC), has hinted at the possibility of postponing the 2019 general elections on account of threats of violence must have come to not a few Nigerians as the shocker of the year, not only because the Commission had hitherto been giving assurances of its readiness for the polls but also because of the significance and crucial nature of the elections to the development of democracy in the country and its continued peaceful coexistence.
“That, coming from the body that is constitutionally saddled with the responsibility of organizing and conducting the elections makes it more alarming, for it point towards a reluctance, lack of capacity or complicity, or all, to thwart Nigeria’s march towards an enduring democracy. It clearly does not inspire confidence that those in charge are prepared to midwife free, fair and credible polls.”
The statement added that Makarfi has been appalled by the news and had actually been expecting either a rebuttal or at least a clarification by the Commission, neither of which has, so far happened.
The statement observed, “It is Senator Makarfi’s conviction that the most important thing it takes for the elections to take place successfully is for the electoral body and the security agencies to play their part with utmost neutrality and objectivity that would inspire the confidence of all.
“The success of the polls depends largely on them and thus the fate of the country is in their hands. They must therefore stop daydreaming and wake up to the challenges facing the country and their own roles in confronting the challenges.”
Senator Makarfi called on actors on the political stage as well as all Nigerians not to take the INEC statement lightly, but remain vigilant, calm and peaceful, and do all it legitimately takes, to protect and preserve Nigeria and its democracy, eschewing violence, no matter the provocation.