Nigerians divided over election postponement

General News of Monday, 9 February 2015


Goodluck Billboard

Some Nigerians living in Ghana have expressed mixed reactions about the decision by the Nigerian Electoral Commission to postpone their upcoming elections.

The Nigerian elections scheduled for Saturday, February 14, was postponed last Saturday to March 28.

The six-week delay according to the Nigerian Electoral Commission, will give the newly-formed multinational force, the opportunity to reclaim areas controlled by Boko Haram.

However, in an interview with Citi News, some Nigerians resident in Ghana gave mixed views on the new development. A Nigerian who spoke to Citi News said President Goodluck Jonathan has failed to put in place measures to resolve the challenge which has consequently led to the postponement.

“The President knows that these problems are there. For three years now, we are facing the same problems in the country. Jonathan has failed completely.” Another unhappy Nigerian said: “It is not right to postpone the elections at all. It is only 15 local governments that stated that they cannot participate in the elections so I don’t think they will postpone the elections because of security issues.”

One other Nigerian stated that the “decision to postpone the elections might increase fears of possible violence in the elections.” Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Ngozi Okwonjo Iweala has lashed out at critics who say the current administration has not done enough to improve the lives of the citizens.

Though she concedes that the Jonathan administration could have done better to ensure the Nigerian economy is robust, Madam Iweala said efforts to politicize the current challenges they face is unwarranted.

Over the past six months, the Naira has lost 17 per cent of its value against the U.S. dollar; one of the steepest declines of any African currency. Unemployment has also increased in the country ahead of the country’s general elections on March 29.

Ngozi Okwonjo Iweala however said they are working to make life better for the poor in Nigeria.

“We have done a whole lot more and the attempts at this time to politicise it and to say that the government has not achieved anything is unfair,” she stated.

“We have made many achievements. This country has been growing at an average of 7 % per annum. That is what you need to cut poverty. .. This country has been growing from the non oil sector which is very important, it means the economy is very diverse. We have the base to make lives better for the people,” she added.