Any attempt to postpone the general elections slated for the February 14 and 28, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said, would be met with stiff resistance.
This was made known by the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun at a news conference. He hinted that the Presidency may attempt to woo the members of the National Council of state to postpone the already scheduled elections.
“Members of the Council of State are Nigerians who are held in very high esteem, and their involvement in a project that damages the democratic process will be a serious disservice to our national assets and leaders.
“APC has faith in the distinguished members of the Council of State, and advises them not to become tools in the hand of an administration that wants to subvert our fragile democratic process,” he said.
He advised that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be allowed to perform its duties without overbearing interference from other institutions of State and machinations of some political parties and individuals.
“APC reaffirms its commitment to fully participate in the general elections on Feb. 14 and Feb. 28 as planned and will not accept any postponement,’’ Odigie-Oyegun stressed.
He said that APC was encouraged by the fact that INEC had restated its determination and ability to conduct the elections as planned.
According to him, only INEC has the constitutional prerogative to set election dates.
“We recognize that INEC has challenges but these are challenges that have been or are being seriously tackled by the commission, and the engineered clamor for postponement is not helping the situation,’’ he said.
The APC chairman said that the clamor for postponement of the elections was over-heating the polity.
“Attempts to rubbish INEC’s preparations in order to achieve a postponement are being seen for what they are.
“Unfortunately, in the process, the polity is being overheated to dangerous levels, with consequences that might be predictable at this stage,’’ he stated.
On some political parties supporting the postponement agitation, Odigie-Oyegun described them as “irrelevant”, saying there were only two political parties in true contention for the presidency in the upcoming election.
“I don’t want to run down any party but you know there are only two parties contesting.
“The very foundation of this country is at stake; the country is fired up for change and ready for elections,’’ he maintained.
On APC’s presidential candidate’s refusal to grace any organized debate, the chairman explained that the man “has set out his own agenda and that is talking to the people directly.”
“In Lagos, he met with the organized private sector; in Kano, he met with the lowly people like masons, shoe-makers. He will meet students.
“He is engaging the real stakeholders at every level. He is spending quality time with those that make the country tick. That is his judgement, that is his decision,’’ he said.