NASS To Look Into Polls Shift – Saraki

Bukola-Saraki-A former governor of Kwara State and Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Bukola Saraki, on Monday vowed that the National Assembly will look into the circumstances surrounding the postponement of general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

INEC had shifted the general elections, earlier slated for February 14 and 28 to March 28 and April 11, 2015 following submissions to it by the security chiefs that the military would not be able to guarantee security should the elections hold this month.

In his reaction, the senator representing Kwara Central, in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday said: “As soon as the National Assembly reconvenes, we will look into this issue of postponement and take steps to ensure that our electoral process is not tampered with any further. As leaders of this nation, it is our duty to protect our nascent democracy.

“While we recognise the severity of the security challenges facing Nigeria today, sadly, these challenges are not new. It has been almost a year since Boko Haram kidnapped 200 of our schoolgirls in Chibok.

“Thousands of men, women, and children have now died at the hands of Boko Haram and thousands are displaced. However, security should not be used as an excuse to delay our elections and obstruct democracy.

“The delay in elections is an obstruction of democracy led by President Goodluck Jonathan and PDP. APC has been calling for a free, fair, and transparent elections for our country.

“The delay in elections hinders this call. INEC is expected to act independently but unfortunately is being guided by government who believe they are about to lose an election and have decided to stop the election to re-strategize.

“For the first time in Nigeria, we are seeing a seating government run away from election.

“For over three years, President Jonathan has failed to make national security a priority. How then does President Jonathan now expect the people to believe him when he says he will tackle the terrorist group in six weeks?

“The international community has continued to support our view that there must be peaceful, free, transparent and credible electoral processes in Nigeria and that the country’s security forces would remain impartial so Nigerians can vote safely and without undue delay.‎

“They are disappointed about the recently announced postponement. President Jonathan and INEC must be aware that the eyes of the world are on them.

“I charge Nigerians to be calm, non-violent and steadfast. We must be determined to make sure postponement does not demoralize or disenfranchise us. We must see this as a challenge for us to remain resolute in yearning for a new democratic government; one that will not see itself as above the people”.

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