The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has countered claims by President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign council and the Peoples Democratic Party on who is to blame for the postponement of Saturday’s presidential elections.
The presidential and National Assembly elections were early last Saturday postponed from February 16 to 23 while state elections were postponed from March 2 to 9. The electoral commission, INEC, mentioned logistics challenges as a reason for the postponement.
After the postponement, Mr Buhari’s campaign council blamed the PDP for the postponement saying the opposition party “seriously needed this breather to orchestrate more devious strategies to try and halt President Buhari’s momentum.”
In its reaction to the postponement, the PDP also blamed Mr Buhari’s party, APC, for the postponement.
“Having failed in all their nefarious options to enable them cling on to power, the APC and the INEC came up with the idea of shifting election an action that is dangerous to our democracy and unacceptable,” PDP chairman Uche Secondus said in a statement.
Okorocha counters both
Mr Okorocha, however, counters both groups.
The Imo governor says no political party should be blamed for postponement of the elections.
“The postponement of the election by INEC is an unfortunate development and also regrettable, but it is important to note that no political party should be blamed for the postponement, but rather on the challenges facing INEC.
“This is also not the first time the nation will witness such development during elections, it happened in 2011 and in 2015 respectively,” he said.
In a statement in Owerri on Sunday, Mr Okorocha attributed the postponement to challenges faced by INEC.
He said the ruling APC was ready for elections, describing the postponement as regrettable.
He urged INEC to ensure that all issues were ironed out within the week to ensure seamless elections in the country.
” I only want to urge INEC to use the week of postponement to resolve all the challenges it has and ensure that Nigerians have a smooth, free and fair elections.
“APC as the ruling party is ready for the elections and it will be absurd to accuse the ruling party of being responsible for the postponement,” he said.
He also urged Nigerians to show patriotism by maintaining peace and understanding.
Mr Okorocha, outgoing Imo governor, is a senatorial candidate of the APC. He has, however, been suspended by the party in the state for supporting the governorship candidate of another party and working against the APC in the governorship and House of Assembly elections in Imo.
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