President Goodluck Jonathan has asked Nigerians to accept the postponement of the general elections in “good faith.”
The president, in a statement by his spokesperson, Reuben Abati, also said he holds the May 29, 2015 handover date sacrosanct and remains committed to vacating office if he is not re-elected.
May 29, observed as democracy day in Nigeria, is the governorship and presidential handing over date.
The statement comes on the heels of the postponement of the general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. The postponement was based on the advice of security agencies.
The INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega, had told journalists during a briefing at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja that while INEC was ready for February 14 and 28 elections, security agents were not.
In Sunday’s statement, Mr. Abati said the president appealed to all concerned to accept the adjustment of the election dates by INEC in good faith.
“Following the adjustment of the dates for the 2015 general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from February 14 and 28 to March 28 and April 11, yesterday, President Goodluck Jonathan has reassured the nation of his commitment to the sanctity of May 29, 2015 as the terminal date of his first term in office.
“He strongly reaffirms that May 29 is, has been, and will remain sacrosanct.
“The President appeals to all stakeholders to accept the adjustment of the election dates by INEC in good faith, as the electoral body has a responsibility to conduct credible elections in which every Nigerian of voting age is afforded the opportunity to exercise their civic right without any form of hindrance.
“President Jonathan believes that this is not a time to trade blames or make statements that may overheat the polity, but a time to show understanding and support the electoral commission to conduct the elections successfully.
“It is the President’s understanding that INEC’s decision ought not to generate acrimony since it acted within its powers under the law and in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.
“He calls on the international community, civil society and the electorate to continue to support the administration’s commitment to a free, fair, credible, and non-violent electoral process,” the statement reads.