FLASHBACK: What Buhari said when INEC postponed 2015 election

President Muhammadu Buhari [Pix: Daily Post Nigeria]
President Muhammadu Buhari [Pix: Daily Post Nigeria]

President Muhammadu Buhari heavily criticised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) when it postponed the 2015 general elections.

Then a candidate of the APC, Mr Buhari also criticised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government of systematic rigging.

On February 8, 2015, six days away, INEC postponed the February 14 presidential election by six weeks citing insecurity.

The elections commission chief, Attahiru Jega, said the delay until 28 March was necessary because of heightened insecurity that could affect the safety of election personnel, voters and materials, especially in the troubled North-east region.

Few days to the election when it started becoming clear that it would be postponed, Mr Buhari criticised the commission for considering postponement. He would later win the rescheduled polls.

After the latest postponement under Mr Buhari as president, the video of his interview was re-circulated by Channel 4 News.

“It took INEC one month to work out…I see no reason why we should postpone it,” Mr Buhari said when asked by the planned postponement of 2015.

“There are 14 local governments where there is (security) problem; 10 in Borno, two in Your, two in Adamawa. And there and 774 local governments in Nigeria. Should we postpone the election because of 14 local governments?”

Mr Buhari suggested that even with Boko Haram onslaught, the electoral umpire ought to go ahead.

“Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria were fighting wars and they conducted elections, what is Boko Haram?” he said, dismissing the reporter.

Mr Buhari, however, asked his supporters to take advantage of the postponement to further mobilise support among Nigerians.

Mr Buhari also accused PDP of engineering the postponement to avoid a defeat; but appealed for calm among his supporters.

“I wish to appeal for utmost restraint and calm by all Nigerians, especially the teeming supporters of our great party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.

“It is important to note that although INEC acted within its constitutional powers, it is clear that it has been boxed into a situation where it has had to bow to pressure. Thus, the independence of INEC has been gravely compromised,” he said.

Repeat

INEC Saturday morning postponed the presidential and national assembly elections giving logistics challenges as reasons.

The announcement was made at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, few hours to the commencement of the polls.

The new dates for the elections are February 23 for presidential and national assembly elections and March 9 for governorship and state assemblies elections.

Mr Yakubu said further details of the postponement would be disclosed at a conference scheduled for 2:00 p.m., Saturday.

President Buhari said he was “deeply disappointed” by the latest postponement. He urged Nigerians to be calm and peaceful.

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